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THE warde:n 


MmtKUt KA' t tHri t » » < l l I ■ 111 > i " i « . h . r» i« : , t uf.U'it.' 


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hiram's hospital. 

The Rev. Septimus Harding was, a few years since, a Lene-" 

ficed clergyman residing in the catliedral town of ; let 

us call it Barcliester. Were we to name Wells or Salisbury, 
Exeter, Hereford, or Gloucester, it might be presumed that some- 
tliing personal was intended ; and as this tale will refer mainly 
to the cathedral dignitaries of the tc^ii in question, we are 
anxious that no personality may be suspected. Let us presume 
that Barchester is a quiet town in the TTest of England, more 
remarkable for the beauty of its cathedral and the antiquity of 
its monuments, than for any commercial prosperity ; that the 
west end of Barchester is the cathedral close, and that the aris- 
tocracy of Barchester are the bishop, dean, and canons, with 
their respective w4ves and daughters. 

Early in life Mr. Harding found himself located at Barchester. 
A fine voice and a taste for sacred music had decided the posi- 
tion in which he waste exercise his calling, and for manyyears 
he performed the easy but not highly paid duties of a minor 
canon. At the age of forty a small living in the close vicinity 
of the town increased both his work and his income, and at the 
.'go of fifty he became precentor of the cathedral. 



Mr. Harding liad married early in life, and ^yas the father 
of two daughters. The eldest, Susan, was born soon after his 
marriage ; the other, Eleanor, not till ten years later. At the 
time at ^Yhich we introduce him to our readers he was living 
as precentor at Barchester with his youngest daughter, then 
twenty-four years of age ; having been many years a widower, 
and having married his eldest daughter to a son of the bishop, 
a very short time before his installation to the office of precentor. 

Scandal at Barchester affirmed that had it not been for the 
beauty of his daughter, Mr. Harding would have remained a 
minor canon ; but here probably Scandal lied, as she so often 
does ; for even as a minor canon no one had been more popular 
among his reverend brethren in the close, than Mr. Harding ; 
and Scandal, before she had reprobated Mr. Harding for being 
made precentor by his friend the bishop, had loudly blamed the 
bishop for having so long omitted to do something for his 
friend Mr. Harding. Be this as it may, Susan Harding, some 
twelve years since, had married the Rev. Dr. Theophilus 
Grantly, son of the bishop, archdeacon of Barchester, and 
rector of Plumstead Episcopi, and her father became, a few 
months later, precentor of Barchester Cathedral, that office 
being, as is not usual, in the bishop's gift. 

Now there are peculiar circumstances connected with the 
precentorship which must be explained. In the year 1434 
there died at Barchester one John Hiram, who had made money 
in the town as a woolstapler, and in his will he left the house 
in which he died and certain meadows and closes near the town, 
still called Hiram's Butts, and Hiram's Patch, for the support 
of twelve superannuated wool-carders, all of whom should 
have been born and bred and spent their days in Barchester ; he 
also appointed that an alms-house should be built for their 
abode, with a fitting residence for a warden, which warden was 
also to receive a certain sum annually out of the rents of the said 


butts and patches. He, moreover, Avilled, having had a soul 
alive to harmony, that the precentor of the cathedral should 
have the option of being also warden of the alms-houses, if the 
bishop in each case approved. 

From that dav to this the charity had gone on and prospered 
i — at least, the charity had gone on, and the estates had pros- 
pered. Wool-carding in Barchester there was no longer any ; 
so the bishop, dean, and warden, who took it in turn to put in 
the old men, generally appointed some hangers-on of their own ; 
worn-out gardeners, decrepit grave-diggers, or octogenarian 
sextons, who thankfully received a comfortable lodging and one 
shilling and fourpence a day, such being the stipend to which, 
under the will of John Hiram, they were declared to be entitled. 
Formerly, indeed, — that is, till within some fifty years of the 
present time, — they received but sixpence a day, and their 
breakfast and dinner was found them at a common table by the 
warden, such an arrangement being in stricter conformity 
with the absolute wording of old Hiram's will : but this was 
thought to be inconvenient, and to suit the tastes of neither 
warden nor bedesmen, and the daily one shilling and fourpence 
was substituted with the common consent of all parties, in- 
cluding the bishop and the corporation of Barchester. 

Such was the condition of Hiram's twelve old men when 
Mr. Harding was appointed warden ; but if they may be con- 
sidered as well-to-do in the world according to their condition, 
the happy warden was much more so. The patches and butts 
which, in John Hiram's time, produced hay or fed cows, were 
now covered with rows of houses ; the value of the property 
liad gradually increased from year to year, and century to 
century, and was now presumed by those who knew anything 
about it, to bring in a very nice income ; and by some wlio 
knew nothing about it, to have increased to an almost fabulous 

D 2 


The property was fanned by a gentleman in Barchester, 
who also acted as the bishop's steward — a man whose father 
and grandfather had been stewards to the bishops of Bar- 
cliestcr, and farmers of John Hiram's estate. The Chadwicks 
had earned a good name in Barchester; they had lived re- 
spected by bishops, deans, canons, and precentors ; they had 
been buried in the precincts of the cathedral ; they had never 
been known as griping, hard men, but had always lived com- 
fortably, maintained a good house, and held a high position in 
Barchester society. The present Mr. Chadwick was a worthy 
scion of a worthy stock, and the tenants living on the butts 
and patches, as well as those on the wide episcopal domains of 
the see, were well ploased to have to do with so worthy and 
liberal a steward. 

For many, many years, — records hardly tell how many, 
probably from the time when Hiram's wishes had been first 
fully carried out, — the proceeds of the estate had been paid 
by the steward or farmer to the warden, and by him divided 
among the bedesmen; after which division he paid himself 
such sums as became his due. Times had been when the poor 
warden got nothing but his bare house, for the patches had 
been subject to floods, and the land of Barchester butts was 
said to be unproductive ; and in these hard times the warden 
was hardly able to make out the daily dole for his twelve 
dependents. But by degrees things mended ; the patches were 
drained, and cottages began to rise upon the butts, and the 
wardens, with fairness enough, repaid themselves for the evil 
days gone by. In bad times the poor men had had their due, 
and therefore in good times they could expect no more. In 
this manner the income of the warden had increased ; the pic- 
turesque house attached to the hospital had been enlarged and 
adorned, and the office had become one of the most coveted of 
the snuj; clerical sinecures attached to our church. It was 

niRAM'S nOSPlTAL. 5 

now -wholly in the bishop's gift, and though the dean and 
chapter, in former days, made a stand on the subject, they had 
thought it more conducive to their honour to have a rich 
precentor appointed by the bishop, than a poor one appointed 
by themselves. The stipend of the precentor of Barchester 
was eighty pounds a year. The income arising from the 
wardenship of the hospital was eight hundred, besides the 
value of the house. 

Murmurs, very slight murmurs, had been heard in Bar- 
chester, — few indeed, and far between, — that the proceeds of 
John Hiram's property had not been fairly divided : but they 
can hardly be said to have been of such a nature as to have 
caused uneasiness to any one : still the thing had been 
whispered, and Mr. Harding had heard it. Such was his 
character in Barchester, so universal was his popularity, that 
the very fact of his appointment would have quieted louder 
whispers than those which had been heard ; but Mr. Harding 
was an open-handed, just-minded man, and feeling that there 
might be truth in what had been said, he had, on his instal- 
ment, declared his intention of adding twopence a day to each 
man's pittance, making a sum of sixty-two pounds eleven 
shillings and fourpence, which he was to pay out of his own 
pocket. In doing so, however, he distinctly and repeatedly 
observed to the men, that though he promised for himself, bo 
could not promise for his successors, and that the extra two- 
pence could only be looked on as a gift from himself, and not 
from the trust. The bedesmen, however, were most of them 
older than Mr. Harding, and were quite satisfied with the 
security on which their extra income was based. 

This munificence on the part of Mr. Harding had not been 
unopposed. Mr. Chadwick had mildly but seriously dissuaded 
him from it ; and his strong-minded son-in-law, the archdeacon, 
the man of whom alone Mr. Harding stood in awe, had urgently 



nay, vehemently, opposed so impolitic a concession : but tho 
warden had made known liis intention to the hospital before 
the archdeacon had been able to interfere, and the deed was 

Hiram's Hospital, as the retreat is called, is a picturesque 
building enough, and shows the correct taste with whicli tlic 
ecclesiastical architects of those days were imbued. It stands 
on the banks of the little river, which flows nearly round the 
cathedral close, being on the side furthest from the town. 
The London road crosses the river by a pretty one-arched 
bridsre, and, looking from this bridsre. the stransrer will see tho 
windows of the old men's rooms, each pair of windows sepa- 
rated by a small buttress. A broad gravel walk runs between 
the building and the river, which is always trim and cared for; 
and at the end of the walk, under the parapet of the approach 
to the bridge, is a large and vrell-worn seat, on which, in mild 
weather, three or four of Hiram's bedesmen are sure to be seen 
seated. Beyond this row of buttresses, and further from the 
bridge, and also further from the water Avhich here suddenly 
bends, are the pretty oriel windows of Mr. Harding's house, 
and his well-mown lawn. The entrance to the hospital is 
from the London road, and is made through a ponderous gate- 
way under a heavy stone arch, unnecessary, one would suppose, 
at any time, for tlie protection of twelve old men, but greatly 
conducive to the good appearance of Hiram's charity. On 
passing through this portal, never closed to any one from six 
A.M. till ten P.M., and never open afterwards, except on appli- 
cation to a huge, intricately hung, mediaeval bell, the handle 
of which no uninitiated intruder can possibly find, the six 
doors of the old men's abodes are seen, and beyond them is a 
slight iron screen, through which the niore happy portion of 
tlie Barchester elite pass into the Elysium of Mr. Harding's 

Hiram's hospital. 7 

Mr. Harding is a small man, now verging on sixty years, 
but bearing few of the signs of age ; his hair is rather grizzled, 
though not grey, his eye is very mild, but clear and bright, 
though the double glasses which are held swinging from his 
hand, unless when fixed upon his nose, show that time has- 
told upon his sight : his hands are delicately white, and both 
hands and feet are small ; he always wears a black frock coat,, 
black knee-breeches, and black gaiters, and somewhat scan- 
dalises some of his more hyper-clerical brethren by a black 

Mr. Harding's warmest admirers cannot say that he was 
ever an industrious man ; the circumstances of his life have 
not called on him to be so ; and yet he can hardly be called 
an idler. Since his appointment to his precentorship, he has 
published, with all possible additions of vellum, typography, 
and gilding, a collection of our ancient church music, with 
some correct dissertations on Purcell, Crotch, and Nares. He 
has greatly improved the choir of Barchester, which, under 
his dominion, now rivals that of any cathedral in England. 
He has taken something more than his fair share in the cathe- 
dral services, and has played the violoncello daily to such 
audiences as he could collect, ov,fautede mieux, to no audience 
at all. 

We must mention one other peculiarity of Mr. Harding. 
As we have before stated, he has an income of eight hundred a 
year, and has no family but his one daughter ; and yet he is 
never quite at ease in money matters. The vellum and gilding 
of " Harding's Church Music," cost more than any one knows, 
except the author, the publisher, and the Rev. Theophilus 
Grantly, who allows none of his father-in-law's extravagances 
to escape him. Then he is generous to his daughter, for 
whose service he keeps a small carriage and pair of ponies. 
He is, indeed, generous to ail, but especially to the twelve old 

B 4 


men who are in a peculiar manner under liis care. No doubt 
with such an income Mr. Harding should be above the world, 
as the saying is ; but at any rate, he is not above Archdeacon 
Theophilus Grantly, for he is always more or less in debt to 
his son-in-law, who has, to a certain extent, assumed the 
arrangement of the precentor's pecuniary affairs. 



Mr. Harding has been now precentor of Barchester for ten 
years ; and, alas, the murmurs respecting the proceeds o( 
Hiram's estate are again becoming audible. It is not that any 
one begrudges to Mr. Harding the income which he enjoys, 
and the comfortable place w^hich so well becomes him ; but 
such matters have begun to be talked of in various parts ot 
England. Eager pushing politicians have asserted in the 
House of Commons, with very telling indignation, that the 
grasping priests of the Church of England are gorged with 
the wealth which the charity of former times has left for the 
solace of the aged, or the education of the young. The well- 
known case of the Hospital of St, Cross, has even come before 
the law courts of the country, and the struggles of Mr. "Whis- 
ton, at Rochester, have met with sympathy and support. Men 
are beginning to say that these things must be looked into. 

Mr. Harding, whose conscience in the matter is clear, and 
who has never felt that he had received a pound from Hiram's 
will to which he was not entitled, has naturally taken the part 
of the church in talking over these matters with his friend, the 


bishop, and liis son-in-law, the archdeacon. The archdeacon, 
indeed, Dr. Grantly, has been somewhat loud in the matter : 
he is a personal friend of the dignitaries of the Rochester 
Chapter, and has written letters in the public press on the 
subject of that turbulent Dr. Whiston, which, his admirers 
think, must well nigh set the question at rest. It is also known 
at Oxford, that he is the author of the pamphlet signed 
" Sacerdos" on the subject of the Earl of Guildford and St. Cross, 
in w^hich it is so clearly argued that the manners of the present 
times do not admit of a literal adhesion to the very "words of 
the founder's will, but that the interests of the church for which 
the founder was so deeply concerned, are best consulted in 
enabling its bishops to reward those shining lights, whose 
services have been most signally serviceable to Christianity. 
In answer to this, it is asserted that Henry de Blois, founder 
of St. Cross, was not greatly interested in the welfare of the 
reformed church, and that the masters of St. Cross, for many 
years past, cannot be called shining lights in the service of 
Christianity; it is, however, stoutly maintained, and no doubt 
felt, by all the archdeacon's friends, that his logic is conclusive, 
and has not, in fact, been answered. 

"With such a tower of strength to back both his arguments 
and his conscience, it may be imagined that Mr. Harding has 
never felt any compunction as to receiving his quarterly sum 
of two hundred pounds. Indeed, the subject has never presented 
itself to his mind in that shape. He has talked not unfrequently, 
and heard very much about the wills of old founders and the 
incomes arising from their estates, during the last year or two; 
he did even, at one moment, feel a doubt (since expelled by his 
son-in-law's logic) as to whether Lord Guildford was clearly 
entitled to receive so enormous an income as he does from the 
revenues of St. Cross, but that he himself was overpaid with 
his modest eight hundred pounds; — he who, out of that, 


voluntarily gave up sixty-two pounds eleven slulliDgs and 
fourpence a year to bis twelve old neighbours; — he who, for 
the money, docs his precentor's work as no precentor has done 
it before, since Barchester Cathedral was built; — such an idea 
has never sullied his quiet, or disturbed his conscience. 

Nevertheless, Mr. Harding is becoming uneasy at the 
rumour which he knows to prevail in Barchester on the 
subject. He is aware that, at any rate, two of his old men 
have been heard to say, that if every one had his own, they 
mio^ht each have their hundred pounds a year, and live like 
gentlemen, instead of a beggarly one shilling and sixpence a 
day ; and that they had slender cause to be thankful for a 
miserable dole of twopence, when ]\Ir. Harding and Mr. Chad- 
wick, between them, ran away with thousands of pounds which 
good old John Hiram never intended for the like of them. It 
is the ingratitude of this which stings Mr. Harding. One of 
this discontented pair, Abel Handy, was put into the hospital 
by himself; he had been a stonemason in Barchester, and had 
broken his thigh by a fall from a scaffolding, while employed 
about the cathedral; and ^Ir. Harding had given him the first 
vacancy in the hospital after the occurrence, although 
Dr. Grantly had been very anxious to put into it an insufferable 
clerk of his at Plumstead Episcopi, who had lost all his teeth, 
and whom the archdeacon hardly knew how to get rid of by 
other means. Dr. Grantly has not forgotten to remind 
Mr. Harding how well satisfied with his one and sixpence a 
day old Joe Mutters would have been, and how injudicious it 
was on the part of Mr. Harding to allow a radical from the 
town to get into the concern. Probably Dr. Grantly forgot, at 
the moment, that the charity was intended for broken-down 
journeymen of Barchester. 

There is living at Barchester. a young, a surgeon, 
named John Bold, and both ^Ir. Harding and Dr. Grantly are 


well aware that to Lira is owing the pestilent rebellious feeling 
which has shown itself in the hospital ; yes, and tlie renewal, 
too^ of that disagreeable talk about Hiram's estates which is 
now again prevalent in Barchester. Nevertheless, Mr. Hard- 
ing and Mr. Bold arc acquainted with each other ; we may- 
say, are friends, considering the great disparity in their years. 
Dr. Grantly, however, has a holy horror of the impious dema- 
gogue, as on one occasion he called Bold, when speaking of 
him to the precentor ; and being a more prudent far-seeing 
man than Mr. Harding, and possessed of a stronger head, he 
already perceives that this John Bold will work great trouble 
in Barchester. He considers that he is to be regarded as an 
enemy, and thinks that he should not be admitted into the 
camp on anything like friendly terms. As John Bold will 
occupy much of our attention, we must endeavour to explain 
who he is, and why he takes the part of John Hiram's 

John Bold is a young surgeon, wlio passed many of his 
boyish years at Barchester. His father was a physician in the 
city of London, where he made a moderate fortune, which he 
invested in houses in that city. The Dragon of Wantly inn 
and posting-house, belonged to him, also four shops in the 
High Street, and a moiety of the new row of genteel villas 
(so called in the advertisements), built outside the town just 
beyond Hiram's Hospital. To one of these Dr. Bold retired 
to spend the evening of his life, and to die ; and here his son 
John spent his holidays, and afterwards his Christmas vaca- 
tion, when he went from school to study surgery in the London 
hospitals. Just as John Bold was entitled to write liimself 
surgeon and apothecary, old Dr. Bold died, leaving his Bar- 
chester property to his son, and a certain sum in the three per 
cents, to his daughter Mary, who is some four or five yeai-s 
older than her brother 


John Bold determined to settle himself at Barchester, and 
look after his own property, as well as the bones and bodies ot 
such of his neighbours as would call upon him for assistance 
in their troubles. He tlierefore put up a large brass plate, 
with "John Bold, Surgeon," on it, to the great disgust of the 
nine practitioners who were already trying to get a living out 
of the bishop, dean, and canons ; and began house-keeping 
with the aid of his sister. At this time he was not more than 
twenty-four years old ; and though he has now been three 
years in Barchester, we have not heard that he has done much 
harm to the nine worthy practitioners. Indeed, their dread oi 
him has died away ; for in three years he has not taken three 

Nevertheless, John Bold is a clever man, and would, with 
practice, be a clever surgeon ; but he has got quite into 
another line of life. Having enough to live on, he has not 
been forced to work for bread; he has declined to subject 
himself to what he calls the drudgery of the profession, by 
which, I believe, he means the general work of a practising 
surgeon ; and has found other employment. He frequently 
binds up the bruises and sets the limbs of such of the poorer 
classes as profess his way of thinking — but this he does for 
love. Now I will not say that the archdeacon is strictly 
correct in stigmatising John Bold as a demagogue, for I hardly 
know how extreme must be a man's opinions before he can be 
justly so called ; but Bold is a strong reformer. His passion 
is the reform of all abuses; state abuses, church abuses, corpo- 
ration abuses (he has got himself elected a town councillor of 
Barchester, and has so worried three consecutive mayors, 
that it became somewhat difficult to find a fourth), abuses in 
medical practice, and general abuses in the world at large. 
Bold is thoroughly sincere in his patriotic endeavours to mend 
mankind, and there is something to be admired in the energy 


with which he devotes himself to remedying evil and stopping 
injustice; but I fear that he is too much imbued with the 
idea that he has a special mission for reforming. It would 
be well if one so young had a little more diffidence himself, 
and more trust in the honest purposes of others — if he could 
be brought to believe that old customs need not necessarily 
be evil, and that changes may possibly be dangerous ; but no, 
Bold has all the ardour, and all the self-assurance of a Danton, 
and hurls his anathemas against time-honoured practices with 
the violence of a French Jacobin. 

No wonder that Dr. Grantly should regard Bold as a fire- 
brand, falling, as he has done, almost in the centre of the quiet 
ancient close of Barchester Cathedral. Dr. Grantly would 
have him avoided as the plague ; but the old Doctor and Mr. 
Harding were fast friends. Young Johnny Bold used to play 
as a boy on Mr. Harding's lawn ; he has many a time won 
ihe precentor's heart by listening with rapt attention to his 
sacred strains ; and since those days, to tell the truth at once, 
he has nearly won another heart within the same walls. 

Eleanor Harding has not plighted her troth to John Bold, 
nor has she, perhaps, owned to herself how dear to her the 
young reformer is ; but she cannot endure that any one should 
speak harshly of him. She does not dare to defend him when 
her brother-in-law is so loud against him ; for she, like her 
father, is somewhat afraid of Dr. Grantly ; but she is begin- 
ning greatly to dislike the archdeacon. She persuades her 
father that it would be both unjust and injudicious to banish 
his young friend because of his politics ; she cares little to go to 
houses where she will not meet him, and, in fact, she is in love. 

Nor is there any good reason why Eleanor Harding should 
not love John Bold. He has all those qualities which are 
likely to touch a girl's heart. He is brave, eager, and amus- 
ing ; well-made and good-looking; young and enterprising; 


his character is in all respects good ; he has sufficient income 
to support a wife ; he is her father's friend ; and, above all, he 
is in love with her : then why should not Eleanor Harding be 
attached to John Bold? 

Dr. Grantly, who has as many eyes as Ai'gus, and has long 
seen how the wind blows in that direction, thinks there are 
various strong reasons why this should not be so. He has not 
thought it wise as yet to speak to his father-in-law on the 
subject, for he knows how foolishly indulgent is Mt. Harding 
in everything that concerns his daughter ; but ho has discussed 
the matter with his all-trusted helpmate, within that sacred 
recess formed by the clerical bed-curtains at Plumstead 

How much sweet solace, how much valued counsel has our 
archdeacon received within that sainted enclosure ! 'T is there 
alone that he unbends, and comes down from his high church 
pedestal to the level of a mortal man. In the world Dr. Grantly 
never lays aside that demeanour which so well becomes him. 
iie has all the dignity of an ancient saint with the sleek- 
ness of a modern bishop ; he is always the same ; he is always 
the archdeacon ; unlike Homer, he never nods. Even with his 
fiither-in-law, even with the bishop and dean, he maintains that 
sonorous tone and lofty deportment which strikes awe into the 
young hearts of Barchester, and absolutely cows the whole 
parish of Plumstead Episcopi. 'Tis only when he has ex- 
changed that ever-new shovel hat for a tasselled nightcap, and 
those shining black habiliments for his accustomed robe de 
unit, that Dr. Grantly talks, and looks, and thinks like an 
ordinary man. 

Many of us have often thought how severe a trial of fiiith 
must this be to the wives of our great church dignitaries. 
To us these men are personifications of St. Paul : their very 
gait is a speaking sermon; their clean and sombre apparel 


exacts from us faith and submission, and tlie cardinal virtues 
seem to hover round their sacred hats. A (Jean or archbishop, 
in the garb of his order, is sure of our reverence, and a well 
got-up bishop fills our very souls with awe. But how can this 
feeling be perpetuated in the bosoms of those who see the 
bishops without their aprons, and the archdeacons even in a 
lower state of dishabille ? 

Do we not all know some reverend, all but sacred, per- 
sonage before whom our tongue ceases to be loud, and our 
step to be elastic ? But were we once to see him stretch 
liimself beneath the bed-clothes, yawn widely, and bury his 
face upon his pillow, we could chatter before him as glibly as 
before a doctor or a lawyer. From some such cause, doubt- 
less, it arose that our archdeacon listened to the counsels of 
his wife, though he. considered himself entitled to give counsel 
to every other being whom he met. 

"My dear," he said, as he adjusted the copious folds of his 
nightcap, '• there was that John Bold at your father's again 
to-day. I must say your father is very imprudent." 

"He is imprudent — he always was," replied Mrs. Grantly, 
speaking from under the comfortable bed-clothes. " There 's 
nothing new in that." 

"No, my dear, there's nothing new — I know that; but, at 
the present juncture of afftiirs, such imprudence is — is — I'll 
tell you what, my dear, if he does not take care what he's 
about, John Bold will be off with Eleanor." 

" I think he will, whether papa takes care or no ; and why 

"Why not!" almost screamed the archdeacon, giving so 
rough a pull at his nightcap as almost to bring it over his 
nose; "why not! — that pestilent, interfering upstart, John 
Bold — the most vulgar young person I ever met ! Do you 
know that he is meddling with your father's affairs in a most 


uncalled for — most " And being at a loss for an epithet 

sufficiently injurious, he finished his expressions of horror by 
muttering," Good heavens !" in a manner that had been found 
very efficacious in clerical meetings of the diocese. He must 
for the moment have forgotten where he was. 

"As to his vulgarity, archdeacon," (Mrs. Grantly had never 
assumed a more familiar term than this in addressing her 
husband), " I don't agree with you. Not that I like ^Ir. Bold 
— he is a great deal too conceited for me ; but then Eleanor 
does, and it would be the best thing in the world for papa if 
they were to marry. Bold would never trouble himself about 
Hiram's Hospital if he were papa's son-in-law." And the 
lady turned herself round under the bed-clothes, in a manner 
to which the doctor was well accustomed, and which told him, 
as plainly as words, that as far as she was concerned the 
subject was over for that night. 

"Good heavens!" murmured the doctor again — he was 
evidently much put beside himself. 

Dr. Grantly is by no means a bad man ; he is exactly the 
man whicii such an education as his was most likely to form ; 
his intellect being sufficient for such a place in the world, but 
not sufficient to put him in advance of it. He performs with 
a rigid constancy such of the duties of a parish clergyman as 
are, to his thinking, above the sphere of his curate, but it is 
as an archdeacon that he shines. 

We believe, as a general rule, that either a bishop or his 
archdeacons have sinecures: where a bishop works, arch- 
deacons have but little to do, and vice versa. In the diocese 
of Barchester the Archdeacon of Barchester does the work. 
In that capacity he is diligent, authoritative, and, as his 
friends particularly boast, judicious. His great fault is an 
overbearing assurance of the virtues and claims of his order, 
and his great foible is an equally strong confidence in the 


dignity of his own manner and the eloquence of his own 
words. He is a moral man, believing the precepts which he 
teaches, and believing also that he acts up to them ; thouo^li 
we cannot say that he would give his coat to the man who 
took his cloak, or that he is prepared to forgive his brother 
even seven times. He is severe enough in exacting his dues, 
considering that any laxity in tliis respect would endanger the 
security of the church ; and, could he have his way, he would 
consign to darkness and perdition, not only every individual 
reformer, but every committee and every commission that 
would even dare to ask a question respecting the appropriation 
of church revenues. 

" They are church revenues : the laity admit it. Surely the 
church is able to administer her own revenues." 'Twas thus 
he was accustomed to argue, when the sacrilegious doings of 
Lord John Russell and others were discussed either at Bar- 
chester or at Oxford. 

It was no wonder that Dr. Grantly did not like John Bold, 
and that his wife's suggestion, that he should become closely 
connected with such a man dismayed him. To give him his 
due, the archdeacon never wanted couniL;e ; he was quite 
willing to meet his enemy on any field, and with any weapon. 
He had that belief in his own arguments that he felt sure of 
success, could he only be sure of a fair fight on the part of his 
adversary. He had no idea that John Bold could really prove 
that the income of the hospital was malappropriated ; why, 
then, should peace be sought for on such base terms ? What ! 
bribe an unbelieving enemy of the church with the sister-in- 
law of one dignitary, and the daughter of another — with a 
young lady whose connections with the diocese and chapter of 
Barchester were so close as to give her an undeniable claim to 
a husband endowed with some of its sacred wealth ! When 
Dr Grantly talks of unbelieving enemies, he does not mean to 



imply want of belief in the doctrines of the church, but ai. 
equally dangerous scepticism as to its purity in money 

Mrs. Grantly is not usually deaf to the claims of the high 
order to which she belongs. She and her husband rarely dis- 
agree as to the tone with which the church should be defended ; 
how singular, then, that in such a case as this she should be 
willing to succumb ! The archdeacon again murmurs " Good 
heavens !" as he lays himself beside her, but he does so in a 
voice audible only to himself, and he repeats it till sleep 
relieves him from deep thought. 

Mr. Harding himself has seen no reason why his daughter 
should not love John Bold. He has not been unobservant of 
her feelings, and perhaps his deepest regret at the part which 
he fears Bold is about to take regarding tlie hospital, arises from 
a dread that he may be separated from his daughter, or that she 
may be separated from the man she loves. He has never 
gpoken to Eleanor about her lover ; he is the last man in the 
world to allude to such a subject unconsulted, even with his 
own daughter ; and had he considered that he had ground to 
disapprove of Bold, he would have removed her, or forbidden 
him his house ; but he saw no such ground. He would pro- 
bably have preferred a second clerical son-in-law, for Mr. 
Harding, also, is attached to his order; and, failing in that, 
he would at any rate have wished that so near a connection 
should have thought alike with him on church matters. He 
would not, however, reject the man his daughter loved because 
he differed on such subjects with himself. 

Hitherto Bold had taken no steps in the matter in any way 
annoying to Mr. Harding personally. Some months since, 
after a severe battle, which cost him not a little, he gained a 
victory over a certain old turnpike woman in the neighbour- 
hood, of whose charges another old woman had complained to 


him. lie got the act of Parliament relating to the trust, found 
that his pro^e^ee had been wrongly taxed, rode througli tlie 
gate himself, paying the toll, then brought an action against 
the gate-keeper, and proved that all people coming up a 
certain by-lane, and going down a certain other by-lane, 
were toll-free. The fame of his success spread widely abroad, 
and he began to be looked on as the upholder of the rights 
of the poor of Barchester. Not long after this success, he 
heard from different quarters that Hiram's bedesmen were 
treated as paupers, whereas the property to which they were, 
in effect, heirs, was very large ; and he was instigated by the 
lawyer whom he had employed in the c^ase of the turnpike, 
to call upon Mr. Chadwick for a statement as to the funds of 
the estate. 

Bold had often expressed his indignation at the malappro- 
priation of church funds in general, in the hearing of his friend 
the precentor; but the conversation had never referred to any- 
thing at Barchester; and when Finney, the attorney, induced 
him to interfere with the affairs of the hospital, it was against 
Mr. Chadwick that his efforts were to be directed. Bold soon 
found that if he interfered with ^Mr. Chadwick as steward, he 
must also interfere with Mr. Harding as warden; and though 
he regretted the situation in which this would place him, he 
was not the man to flinch from his undertaking from personal 

As soon as he had determined to take the matter in hand, he 
set about his work with his usual energy. He got a copy of 
John Hiram's will, of the wording of which he made himself 
perfectly master. He ascertained the extent of the property, 
and as nearly as he could the value of it; and made out a 
schedule of what he was informed was the present distribution 
of its income. Armed with these particulars, he called on Mr. 
Chadwick, having given that gentleman notice of his visit; 

c 2 


and asked liim for a statement of the income and expenditure 
of the hospital for the last twenty-five years. 

This was of course refused, Mr. Chadwick alleging that he 
had no authority for making public the concerns of a property 
in managing which he was only a paid servant. 

"And who is competent to give you that authority, Mr. 
Chadwick?" asked Bold. 

" Only those who employ me, Mr. Bold," said the steward. 

" And who are those, Mr. Chadwick?" demanded Bold. 

Mr Chadwick begged to say that if these inquiries were 
made merely out of curiosity, he must decline answering them: 
if Mr Bold had any ulterior proceeding in view, perhaps it 
would be desirable that any necessary information should be 
sought for in a professional way by a professional man. Mr. 
Chadwick's attorneys were Messrs. Cox and Cummins, of 
Lincoln's Inn. Mr. Bold took down the address of Cox and 
Cummins, remarked that the weather was cold for the time of 
the year, and wished Mr. Chadwick good morning. Mr. Chad- 
wick said it was cold for June, and bowed him out. 

He at once went to his lawyer, Finney. Now, Bold was 
not very fond of his attorney, but, as he said, he merely wanted 
a man who knew the forms of law, and who would do what he 
was told for his money. He had no idea of putting himself 
in ihe hands of a lawyer. He wanted law from a lawyer as he 
did a coat from a tailor, because he could not make it so well 
himself ; and he thought Finney the fittest man in Barchester 
for liis purpose. In one respect, at any rate, he was right : 
Finney was humility itself. 

Finney advised an instant letter to Cox and Cummins, 
mindful of his six-and-eightpence. " Slap at them at once, 
Mr. Bold ; demand categorically and explicitly a full statement 
of the affairs of the hospital." 

" Suppose I were to see ]\Ir. Harding first," suggested Bolfi% 


" Yes, yes, by all means," said the acquiescing Finney ; 
** though, perhaps, as Mr. Harding is no man of business, it 
may lead — lead to some little difficulties; but perhaps you're 
right. Mr. Bold, I don't think seeing Mr. Harding can do any 
harm." Finney saw from the expression of his client's face 
that he intended to have his own wav. 



Bold at once repaired to the hospital. The day was now far 
advanced, but he knew that Mr. Harding dined in the summer 
at four, that Eleanor was accustomed to drive in the evening, 
and that he might therefore probably find Mr. Harding alone. 
It was between seven and eif^ht when he reached the sli^^ht 
iron gate leading into the precentors garden, and though, as 
Mr. Chad wick observed, the day had been cold for June, the 
evening was mild, and soft, and sweet. The little gate was 
open. As he raised the latch he heard the notes of Mr. 
Harding's violoncello from the far end of the garden, and, 
advancing before the house and across the lawn, he found him 
playing : and not without an audience. The musician was 
seated in a garden-chair just within the summer-house, so as to 
allow the violoncello which he held between his knees to rest 
upon the dry stone flooring ; before him stood a rough music 
desk, on which was open a page of that dear sacred book, that 
much-laboured and much-loved volume of church music, which 
had cost so many guineas ; and around sat, and lay, and stood, 

c 3 

22 lli£ WARDEN. 

and leaned, ten of the twelve old men who dvrelt with liim 
beneath old John Hiram's roof. Tlie two reformers were not 
there. I will not say that in their hearts they were conscious 
of any v/rong done or to be done to their mild warden, but 
latterly they had kept aloof from him, and his music was no 
lonser to their taste. 

It was amusing to see the positions, and eager listening 
faces of these well-to-do old men. I will not say that they all 
appreciated the music which they heard, but they were intent 
on appearing to do so ; pleased at being where they were, they 
vrere determined, as far as in them lay, to give pleasure in 
return ; and they were not unsuccessful. It gladdened tlie 
precentor's heart to think that the old bedesmen whom Ik^ 
loved so well, admired the strains which were to him so fall of 
almost ecstatic joy ; and he Uicd to boast that such was the aii* 
of the hospital, as to make it a precinct specially fit for tlie 
worship of St. Cecilia. 

Immediately before him, on the extreme corner of the bencli 
which ran round the summer-house, sat one old man, with his 
handkerchief smoothly lain upon his knees, who did enjoy the 
moment, or acted enjoyment well. He was one on whose large 
frame many years, for he was over eighty, had made small 
havock, — he was still an upright, burly, handsome figure, 
with an open, ponderous brow, round which clung a few, 
though very i'^^^y, thin grey locks. The coarse black gown 
of the hospital, the breeches, and buckled shoes became him 
well; and as he sat with his hands folded on his staff, and 
his chin resting on his hands, he was such a listener as most 
musicians would be glad to welcome. 

This man vras certainly the pride of the hospital. It had 
always been the custom that one should be selected as being to 
some extent in authority over tl)e oihcrs ; and though Mr. 
Bunce, for such was his name, and so he was always designated 


l)y liis inferior brethren, had no greater emoluments than they, 
he had assumed, and well knew how to maintain; the dignity of 
his elevation. The precentor delighted to call him his sub-war* 
den, and was not ashamed, occasionally, when no other guest was 
there, to bid him sit down by the same parlour fire, and drink 
the full glass of port which was placed near him. Bunce 
never went without the second glass, but no entreaty ever 
made him take a third. 

" Well, well, ]Mr. Harding ; you're too good, much too good," 
he'd always say, as the second glass was filled; but when that 
was drunk, and the half hour over, Bunce stood erect, and 
with a benediction which his patron vaUied, retired to his own 
abode. He knew the world too well to risk the comfort of such 
halcyon moments, by prolonging them till they were disagree- 

Mr. Bunce, as may be imagined, was most strongly opposed 
to innovation. Not even Dr. Grantly had a more holy horror 
of those Avho would interfere in the affairs of the hospital ; he 
was every inch a churchman, and though he was not very fond 
of Dr. Grantly personally, that arose from there not being room 
in the hospital for two people so much alike as the doctor and 
hiniself, rather than from any dissimilarity in feeling. Mr. 
Bunce was inclined to think that the warden and himself could 
manage the hospital without further assistance ; and that, 
though the bishop was the constitutional visitor, and as such 
entitled to special reverence from all connected with John 
Hiram's will, John Hiram never intended that his affairs should 
be interfered with by an archdeacon. 

At the present moment, however, these cares were off his 
mind, and he was looking at his warden, as though he thought 
the music heavenly, and the musician hardly less so. 

As Bold walked silently over the lawn, Mr. Harding did 
not at first perceive him, and continued to draw his bow slowly 



across the plaintive wires ; but he soon found from his audience 
that some stranger was there, and looking up, began to welcome 
his young friend with frank hospitalitj. 

" Pray, Mr. Harding ; pray don't let me disturb you," said 
Bold ; " vou know how fond I am of sacred music." 

" Oh ! it's nothing," said the precentor, shutting up the book 
and then opening it again as he saw the delightfully imploring 
look of his old friend Bunce. Oh, Bunce, Bunce, Bunce, I fear 
that after all thou art but a flatterer. " Well, I'll just finish 
it then ; it's a favourite little bit of Bishop's ; and then, Mr. 
Bold, we'll have a stroll and a chat till Eleanor comes in and 
gives us tea." And so Bold sat down on the soft turf to listen, 
or rather to think how, after such sweet harmony, he might best 
introduce a theme of so much discord, to disturb the peace of 
him who was so ready to welcome him kindly. 

Bold thought that the performance was soon over, for he 
felt that he had a somewhat difficult task, and he almost re- 
gretted the final leave-taking of the last of the old men, slow 
as they were in going through their adieus. 

Bold's heart was in his mouth, as the precentor made some 
ordinary but kind remark as to the friendliness of the visit. 

"One evening call," said he, "is worth ten in the morning. 
It's all formality in the morning ; real social talk never begins 
till after dinner. That's why I dine early, so as to get as 
much as T can of it." 

"Quite true, ^Mr. Harding," said the other; "but I fear I've 
reversed the order of things, and I owe you much apology 
for troubling you on business at such an hour ; but it is on 
business that I have called just now." 

Mr. Harding looked blank and annoyed ; there was some- 
thing in the tone of the young man's voice, which told him 
that the interview was intended to be disagreeable, and he 
slirank back at finding his kindly greeting so repulsed. 


* I wish to speak to you about the hospital," continued Bold. 

"Well, well, anything I can tell you I shall be most 
happy " 

"It's about the accounts."' 

"Then, my dear fellow, I can tell you nothing, for I'm as 
ignorant as a child. All I know is, that they pay me 800/. a 
year. Go to Chadwick, he knows all about the accounts ; and 
now tell me, will poor Mary Jones ever get the use of her 
limb again?" 

"Well, I think she will, if she's careful ; but, Mr. Harding, 
I hope you won't object to discuss with me what I have to say 
about the hospital." 

Mr. Harding gave a deep, long-drawn sigh. He did object, 
very strongly object, to discuss any such subject with John 
Bold ; but he had not the business tact of Mr. Chadwick, and 
did not know how to relieve himself from the coming evil ; he 
sighed sadly, but made no answer. 

" I have the greatest regard for you, Mr. Harding," con- 
tinued Bold ; " the truest respect, the most sincere "' 

" Thank ye, thank ye, Mr. Bold,' interjaculated the pre- 
centor somewhat impatiently; "I'm much obliged, but never 
mind that ; I'm as likely to be in the wrong as another man — 
quite as likely." 

"But, Mr. Harding, I must express what I feel, lest you 
should think there is personal enmity in what I'm going to 

"Personal enmity! Going to do ! Why you're not going 
to cut my throat, nor put me into the Ecclesiastical Court " 

Bold tried to laugh, but he couldn't. He was quite in 
earnest, and determined in his course, and could n't make a joke 
of it. He walked on awhile in silence before he recommenced 
his attack, during which Mr. Harding, who had still the bow 
in his hand, played rapidly on an imaginary violoncello. "I 


fear there is reason to think that John Hiram's will is not 
carried out to the letter, Mr. Harding," said the young man at 
last; "and I have been asked to see into it." 

"Very well, I've no objection on earth; and now we need 
not say another word about it." 

'• Only one word more, Mr. Harding. Chadwick has re 
ferred me to Cox and Cummins, and I think it my duty to 
apply to them for some statement about the hospital. In what 
I do I may appear to be interfering with you, and I hope you 
will for^'ive me for doino; so." 

''Mr. Bold," said the other, stopping, and speaking with 
some solemnity, ''if you act justly, say nothing in this matter 
but the truth, and use no unfair weapons in carrying out your 
purposes, I shall have nothing to forgive. I presume you think 
I am not entitled to the income I receive from the hospital, 
and that others are entitled to it. Whatever some may do, I 
shall never attribute to you base motives because you hold an 
opinion opposed to my own, and adverse to my interests : pray 
do what you consider to be your duty ; I can give you no 
assistance, neither will I offer you any obstacle. Let me, how- 
ever, suggest to you, that you can in no wise forward your 
views nor I mine, by any discussion between us. Here comes 
Eleanor and the ponies, and we'll go in to tea." 

Bold, however, felt that he could not sit down at ease with 
Mr. Harding and his daughter after what had passed, and 
therefore excused himself with much awkward apology ; and 
merely raising his hat and bowing as he passed Eleanor and the 
pony chair, left her in disappointed amazement at his de- 

Mr. Harding's demeanour certainly impressed Bold with a 
full conviction, that the warden felt that he stood on strong 
grounds, and almost made him think that he was about to 
interfere without due warrant in the private affairs of a just 


and honourable man ; but Mr. Harding himself was anything 
but satisfied with his own view of the case. 

In the first place, he wished for Eleanor's sake to think 
well of Bold and to like him, and yet he could not but feel 
disgusted at the arrogance of his conduct. What right had ho 
to say that John Hiram's will was not fairly carried out ? But 
then the question would arise within his heart, Was that will 
fairly acted on ? Did John Hiram mean that the warden of his 
hospital should receive considerably more out of the legacy 
than all the twelve old men together for whose behoof the 
hospital was built ? Could it be possible that John Bold was 
right, and that the reverend warden of the hospital had been 
for the last ten years and more the unjust recipient of an in- 
come legally and equitably belonging to others ? What if it 
should be proved before the light of day that he, whose life 
had been so happy, so quiet, so respected, had absorbed 8000/. 
to which he had no title, and which he could never repay? I 
do not say that he feared that such was really the case ; but 
the first shade of doubt now fell across his mind, and from this 
evening, for many a long, long day, our good, kind, loving 
warden was neither happy nor at ease. 

Thoughts of this kind, these first moments of much misery, 
oppressed Mr. Harding as he sat sipping his tea, absent and 
ill at ease. Poor Eleanor felt that all was not right, but her 
ideas as to the cause of the evening's discomfort did not go 
beyond her lover, and his sudden and uncivil departure : sho 
thought there must have been some quarrel between Bold and 
her f\ither, and she was half angry with both, though she did 
not attempt to explain to herself why she was so. 

jNIr. Harding thought long and deeply over these things, 
both before he went to bed, and after it, as ho lay awake, 
questioning within himself the validity of his claim to the 
income which he enjoyed It seemed clear at any rate that, 


however unfortunate lie might be at having been placed in 
such a position, no one could say that he ought either to have 
refused the appointment first, or to have rejected the income 
afterwards. All the world — meaning the ecclesiastical world 
as confined to the English church — knew that the wardenship 
of the Barchester Hospital was a snug sinecure, but no one 
had ever been blamed for accepting it. To how much blame, 
however, would he have been open had he rejected it ! How 
mad would he have been thought had he declared, when the 
situation was vacant and offered to him, that he had scruples 
as to receiving 800Z. a year from John Hiram's property, and 
that he had rather some stranger should possess it ! How 
would Dr. Grantly have shaken his wise head, and have con- 
sulted with his friends in the close as to some decent retreat 
for the coming insanity of the poor minor canon ! If he was 
right in accepting the place, it was clear to him also that he 
would be wrong in rejecting any part of the income attached to 
it. The patronage was a valuable appanage of the bishopric ; 
and surely it would not be his duty to lessen the value of that 
preferment which had been bestowed on himself; surely he 
was bound to stand by his order. 

But somehow these arguments, though they seemed logical, 
were not satisfactory. Was John Hiram's will fairly carried out? 
that was the true question : and if not, w^as it not his especial 
duty to see that this was done. — his especial dutj'-, whatever 
injury it might do to his order, — however ill such duty 
might be received by his patron and his friends ? At the 
idea of his friends, his mind turned unhappily to his son-in- 
law : he knew w^ell how strongly he w^ould be supported by 
Dr. Grantly, if he could bring himself to put his case into the 
archdeacon's hands, and to allow him to fight the battle ; but 
he knew also that he would find no sympathy there for his 
doubts, no friendly feeling, no inward comfort. Dr. Grantly 


would be rcatlj enougli to take up his cudgel against all comers 
on behalf of the church militant, but he would do so on the 
distasteful ground of the church's infallibility. Such a contest 
would give no comfort to Mr. Harding's doubts ; he was not 
so anxious to prove himself right, as to be so. 

I have said before that Dr. Grantly was the working man 
of the diocese, and that his father the bishop was somewhat 
inclined to an idle life : so it was ; but the bishop, though he 
had never been an active man, was one whose qualities had 
rendered him dear to all who knew him. He was the very 
opposite to his son ; he was a bland and a kind old man, op- 
posed by every feeling to authoritative demonstrations and 
episcopal ostentation. It was perhaps well for him, in his 
situation, that his son had early in life been able to do that 
which he could not well do when he was vounirer, and which 
he could not have done at all now that he was over seventv. 
The bishop knew how to entertain the clergy of his diocese, 
to talk easy small talk wnth the rectors' wives, and put curates 
at their ease ; but it required the strong hand of the archdeacon 
to deal with such as were refractory either in their doctrines 
or their lives. 

The bishop and Mr. Harding loved each other warmly. 
They had grown old together, and had together spent manv, 
many years in clerical pursuits and clerical conversation. 
When one of them was a bishop and the other only a minor 
canon they were even then much together ; but since their 
children had married, and Mr. Hardins^ had become warden 
and precentor, they were all in all to each otlier. I will not 
say that they managed the diocese between them, but they 
spent much time in discussing the man who did, and in form- 
ing little plans to mitigate his wrath against church delinquents, 
and soften his aspirations for church dominion. 

Mr. Harding determined to open his mind, and confess his 


doubts to his old friend ; cand to him he went on the morning 
after John Bold's uncourteous visit. 

Up to this period no rumour of these cruel proceedings 
against the hospital had reached the bishop's ears. He had 
doubtless heard that men existed wlio questioned his right to 
present to a sinecure of 800Z. a year, as he had heard from 
time to time of some special immorality or disgraceful disturb' 
ance in the usually decent and quiet city of Barchester : but all 
he did, and all he was called on to do, on such occasions, was 
to shake his head, and to beg his son, the great dictator, to see 
that no harm happened to the church. 

It was a long story that Mr. Harding had to tell before he 
made the bishop comprehend his own view of the case ; but 
we need not follow him through the tale. At first the bishop 
counselled but one step, recommended but one remedy, had but 
cue medicine in his whole pharmacopoeia strong enough to 
touch so grave a disorder — he prescribed the archdeacon. 
" Refer him to the archdeacon," he repeated, as Mr. Harding 
Fpoke of Bold and his visit. "The archdeacon will set you 
quite right about that," he kindly said, when his friend spoke 
with hesitation of the justness of his cause. " No man has 
got up all that so well as the archdeacon ;" but the dose, 
though large, failed to quiet the patient ; indeed it almost pro- 
duced nausea. 

'•' But, bishop," said he, " did you ever read John Hiram's 
wiU ? " 

The bishjp thought probably he had, thirty-five years ago, 
when first instituted to his see, but could not state positively: 
however, he very well knew that he had the absolute right to 
present to the wardenship, and that the income of the warden 
had been regularly settled. 

*' But, bishop, the question is, who has the power to settle 
it ? If, as this young man says, ihe will provides that the 


proceeds of the property are to be divided into shares, who has 
the power to alter these provisions ? " The bishop had an 
indistinct idea that they altered themselves by the lapse of 
years: that a kind of ecclesiastical statute of limitation barred 
the rights of the twelve bedesmen to any increase of income 
arising from the increased value of property. He said some- 
thing about tradition ; more of the many learned men who by 
their practice had confirmed the present arrangement ; then 
went at some length into the propriety of maintaining the due 
difference in rank and income between a beneficed clergyman, 
and certain poor old men who were dependent on charity ; and 
concluded his argument by another reference to the archdeacon. 

The precentor sat thoughtfully gazing at the fire, and 
listening to the good-natured reasoning of his friend. Wliat 
the bishop said had a sort of comfort in it, but it was not a 
sustaining comfort. It made Mr. Harding feel that many 
others — indeed, all others of his own order — would think liim 
right; but it failed to prove to him that he truly was so. 

" Bishop," said he, at last, after both had sat silent for a 
while, " I should deceive you and myself too, if I did not tell 
you that I am very unhappy about this. Suppose that I can- 
not bring myself to agree with Dr. Grantly! — that I find, 
after inquiry, that the 3^oung man is right, and that I am 
wrong — what then?"' 

The two men were sitting near each other — so near that the 
bishop was able to lay his hand upon the other's knee, and ho 
did so with a gentle pressure. Mr. Harding well knew what 
that pressure meant. The bishop had no further argument to 
adduce; he could not fight for the cause as his son would do; 
he could not prove all the precentor's doubts to be groundless; 
but he could sympathise with his friend, and he did so; and 
Mr. Harding felt that he had received that for which he came. 
There was another period of silence, after which, the bishop 


asked with a degree of irritable energy, very unusual with 
him, whether this '-'pestilent intruder " (meaning John Bold) 
had anr friends in Barchester. 

Mr. Harding had fully made' up his mind to tell the bishop 
everything; to speak of his daughter's love, as well as his own 
troubles; to talk of John Bold in his double capacity of future 
son-in-law and present enemy; and though he felt it to be 
sufficiently disagreeable, now was his time to do it. 

" He is very intimate at my own house, bishop." The 
bishop stared; he was not so far gone in orthodoxy and 
church-militancy as his son, but still he could not bring himself 
to understand how so declared an enemy of the establishment 
could be admitted on terms of intimacy into the house, not 
only of so firm a pillar as Mr. Harding, but one so much 
injured as the warden of the hospital. 

" Indeed, I like Mr. Bold much, personally," continued the 
disinterested victim; "and to tell you the 'truth,'" — he 
hesitated as he brought out the dreadful tidings, — "I have 
sometimes thought it not improbable that he would be my 
second son-in-law." The bishop did not whistle; we believe 
that they lose the power of doing so on being consecrated; 
and that in these days one might as easily meet a corrupt 
judge as a whistling bishop; but he looked as though he would 
have done so, but for his apron. 

What a brother-in-law for the archdeacon ! what an alliance 
for Barchester close! what a connection for even the episcopal 
palace ! The bishop, in his simple mind, felt no doubt that 
John Bold, had he so much power, would shut up all cathe- 
drals, and probably all parish churches ; distribute all tithes 
among Methodists, Baptists, and other savage tribes ; utterly 
annihilate the sacred bench, and make shovel hats and lawn 
sleeves as illegal as cowls, sandals, and sackcloth ! Here was 
a nice man to be initiated into the comfortable arcana of eccle- 


siastical snuggeries ; one who doubted the integrity of parsons, 
and probably disbelieved the Trinity ! 

Mr. Harding saw what an effect his communication had 
made, and almost repented the openness of his disclosure ; he, 
however, did what he could to moderate the grief of his friend 
and patron. "I did not say that there is any engagement 
between them. Had there been, Eleanor would have told me : 
I know her well enough to be assured that she would have 
done so ; but I see that they are fond of each other ; and as a 
man and a father, I have had no objection to urge against their 

*' But, Mr. Harding," said the bishop, " how are you to oppose 
him, if he is your son-in-law ? " 

" I don't mean to oppose him ; it is he who opposes me : if 
anything is to be done in defence, I suppose Chadwick will do 
it. I suppose " 

" Oh, the archdeacon will see to that : were the young man 
twice his brother-in-law, the archdeacon will never be deterred 
from doing what he feels to be right." 

Mr. Harding reminded the bishop that the archdeacon and 
the reformer were not yet brothers, and very probably never 
would be ; exacted from him a promise that Eleanor's name 
should not be mentioned in any discussion between the father 
bishop and son archdeacon respecting the hospital ; and then 
took his departure, leaving his poor old friend bewildered, 
amazed, and confounded. 



hiram's bedesmen. 

The parties most interested in the movement which is about 
to set Barchester by the ears, were not the foremost to discuss 
the merit of the question, as is often the case ; but when the 
bishop, the archdeacon, the warden, the steward, and Messrs. 
Cox and Cummins, were all busy with the matter, each in his 
own way, it is not to be supposed that Hiram*s bedesmen 
themselves were altogether passive spectators. Finney, the 
attorney, had been among them, asking sly questions, and 
raising immoderate hopes, creating a party hostile to the 
warden, and establishing a corps in the enemy's camp, as he 
figuratively calls it to himself Poor old men; whoever 
may be righted or wronged by this inquiry, they at any rate 
will assuredly be only injured; to them it can only be an un- 
mixed evil. How can their lot be improved ? all their wants 
are supplied ; every comfort is administered ; they have warm 
houses, good clothes, plentiful diet, and rest after a life of 
labour ; and above all, that treasure so inestimable in declining 
years, a true and kind friend to listen to their sorrows, watch 
over their sickness, and administer comfort as regards this 
world, and the world to come ! 

John Bold sometimes thinks of this, when he is talking 
loudly of the rights of the bedesmen, whom he has taken under 
his protection ; but he quiets the suggestion within his breast 
with the high-sounding name of justice — "fiat justitia ruat 
coelum." These old men should, by rights, hare one hundred 
pounds a year instead of one shilling and sixpence a day, and 
the warden should have two hundred or three hundred pounds 
instead of eight hundred pounds. What is unjust must be 


wrong ; what is wrong should be righted ; and if he dech'ned 
the task, who else would do it ? 

*' Each one of you is clearly entitled to one hundred pounds 
a year by common law : " such had been the important whisper 
made by Finney into the ears of Abel Handy, and by him 
retailed to his eleven brethren. 

Too much must not be expected from the flesh and blood 
even of John Hiram's bedesmen, and the positive promise of 
one hundred a year to each of the twelve old men, had its way 
with most of them. The great Bunco was not to be wiled 
away, and was upheld in his orthodoxy by two adherents. 
Abel Handy, who was the leader of the aspirants after wealth, 
had, alas, a stronger folloAving. No less than five of the 
twelve soon believed that his views were just, making with 
their leader a moiety of the hospital. The other three, volatile 
unstable minds, vacillated between the two chieftains, now led 
away by the hope of gold, now anxious to propitiate the 
powers that still existed. 

It had been proposed to address a petition to the bishop as 
visitor, praying his lordship to see justice done to the legal 
recipients of John Hiram's Charity, and to send copies of this 
petition and of the reply it would elicit to all the leading 
London papers, and thereby to obtain notoriety for the subject. 
This it was thought would pave the way for ulterior legal 
proceedings. It would have been a great thing to have had 
the signatures and marks of all the twelve injured legatees ; 
but this was impossible : Bunco would have cut his hand off 
sooner than have signed it. It was then suggested by Finney 
that if even eleven could be induced to sanction the document, 
the one obstinate recusant might have been represented as 
unfit to judge on such a question, — in fact, as being non com- 
pos mentis, — and the petition would have been taken as repre- 
senting the feeling of the men. But this could not be done : 

D 2 


Bunce's friends were as firm as himself, and as yet only six 
crosses adorned the document. It was the more provoking, as 
Bunce himself could write his name legibly, and one of those 
three doubting souls had for years boasted of like power, and 
possessed, indeed, a Bible, in which he was proud to show his 
name written by himself some thirty years ago — '' Job Skul- 
pit j" but it was thought that Job Skulpit, having forgotten 
his scholarship, on that account recoiled from the petition, and 
that the other doubters would follow as he led them. A peti- 
tion signed by half the hospital would have but a poor effect. 

It was in Skulpit's room that the petition Avas now lying, 
waiting such additional signatures as Abel Handy, by his 
eloquence, could obtain for it. The six marks it bore were 
duly attested, thus: — 

his his his 

Abel + Handy, Gregy + Moody, Mathew + Spriggs, 
mark mark mark 

&c., and places were duly designated in pencil for those 
brethren who were now expected to join : for Skulpit alone 
was left a spot on which his genuine signature might be 
written in fair clerklike style. Handy had brought in the 
document, and spread it out on the small deal table, and was 
now standing by it persuasive and eager. Moody had fol- 
lowed with an inkhorn, carefully left behind by Finney ; and 
Spriggs bore aloft, as though it were a sword, a well- worn ink- 
black pen, which from time to time he endeavoured to thrust 
into Skulpit's unwillmg hand. 

"With the learned man were his two abettors in indecision, 
William Gazy and Jonathan Crumple. If ever the petition 
were to be forwarded, now was the time, so said Mr. Finney; 
and great was the anxiety on the part of those whose one 
hundred pounds a year, as they believed, mainly depended on 
the document in question. 

*' To be kept out of all that money," as the avaricioua 

hiram's bedesmex. 37 

Moody had muttered to his friend Handy, " by an old fool 
Baying that he can write his own name like his betters." 

" Well, Job," said Handy, trying to impart to his own sour, 
ill-omened visage a smile of approbation, in which he greatly 
failed; "so you're ready now, Mr. Finney says; here's the 
place, d'ye see," — and he put his huge brown finger down on 
the dirty paper, — "name or mark, it's all one. Come along, 
old boy ; if so be we 're to have the spending of this money, 
why the sooner the better — that's my maxim." 

" To be sure," said Moody ; " we a'n't none of us so young : 
we can't stay waiting for old Catgut no longer." 

It was thus these miscreants named our excellent friend : 
the nickname he could easily have forgiven, but the allusion 
to the divine source of all his melodious joy would have 
irritated even him. Let us hope he never knew the insult. 

" Only think, old Billy Gazy," said Spriggs, who rejoiced in 
greater youth than his brethren, but having fallen into a fire 
when drunk, had had one eye burnt out, one cheek burnt 
through, and one arm nearly burnt off", and who, therefore, in 
regard to personal appearance, was not the most prepossessing 
of men ; " a hundred a year, and all to spend : only think, old 
Billy Gazy ; " and he gave a hideous grin that showed ofi" his 
misfortunes to their full extent. 

Old Billy Gazy was not alive to much enthusiasm — even 
these golden prospects did not arouse him to do more than rub 
his poor old bleared eyes with the cuff of his bedesman's gown, 
and gently mutter; 'he did n't know, not he; he did n't know.' 

"But you'd know, Jonathan," continued Spriggs, turning 
to the other friend of Skulpit's, Avho was sitting on a stool by 
the table, gazing vacantly at tlie petition. Jonathan Crumple 
was a meek, mild man, who had known better days; his means 
had been wasted by bad children, who had made his life 
wretched till he had been received into the hospital, of which 


he had not long been a member. Since that day he had known 
neither sorrow nor trouble, and this attempt to fill him with 
new hopes was, indeed, a cruelty. 

" A hundred a year's a nice thing, for sartain, neighbour 
Spriggs," said he: "I once had nigh to that myself, but it 
didn't do me no good." And he gave a low sigh, as he 
thought of the children of his own loins who had robbed him. 

"And shall have again, Joe," said Handy; "and will have 
some one to keep it right and tight for you this time." 

Crumple sighed again — he had learned the impotency of 
worldly wealth, and would have been satisfied, if left un- 
tempted, to have remained happy with one and sixpence a 

'• Come, Skulpit," repeated Handy, getting impatient," you 'ro 
not going to go along with old Bunce in helping that parson 
to rob us all. Take the pen, man, and right yourself. Well," 
he added, seeing that Skulpit still doubted, '• to see a man 
as is afraid to stand by hisself, is, to my thinking, the meanest 
thinsr as is." 

" Sink them all for parsons, says I," growled Moody; "hungry 
beggars, as never thinks their bellies full till they have robbed 
all and everything." 

"Who's to harm you, man?" argued Spriggs: "let them 
look never so black at you, they can't get you put out when 
you're once in — no, not old Catgut, with Calves to help himi" 
I am sorry to say the archdeacon himself was designated by 
this scurrilous allusion to his nether person. 

" A hundred a year to win, and nothing to lose," continued 
Handy, " my eyes I — Well, how a man's to doubt about sich 
a bit of cheese as that passes me — but some men is timorous 
— some men is born with no pluck in them — some men is 
cowed at the very first sight of a gen'leman's coat and 

hiram's bedesmen. 39 

Oh, Mr. Harding, if you had but taken the archdeacon'3 
advice in that disputed case, when Joe Mutters was this un- 
grateful demagogue's rival candidate! 

"Afraid of a parson," growled Moody, with a look of 
ineffable scorn; "I tell ye what I'd be afraid of — I'd be 
afraid of not getting nothing from 'em but just what I could 
take by might and right — that 's the most I 'd be afraid on of 
any parson of 'em all." 

"But," said Skulpit, apologetically, "Mr. Harding's not so 
bad — he did give us twopence a day, did n't he now?" 

"Twopence a day!" exclaimed Spriggs with scorn, opening 
awfully the red cavern of his lost eye. 

" Twopence a day! " muttered Moody with a curse ; " sink 
his twopence ! " 

"Twopence a day!" exclaimed Handy; "and I'm to go, 
hat in hand, and thank a chap for twopence a day, when ho 
owes me a hundred pounds a year : no, thank ye ; that may 
do for you. but it won't for me. Come, I say Skulpit, are ycu 
a going to put your mark to this here paper, or are you not? " 

Skulpit looked round in wretched indecision to his two 
friends. " What d'ye think, Bill Gazy ? " said he. 

But Billy Gazy could n't think : he made a noise like the 
bleating of an old sheep, which was intended to express the 
agony of his doubt, and again muttered that * he did n't know.' 

" Take hold, you old cripple," said Handy, thrusting the pen 
into poor Billy's hand: " there, so — ugh! you old fool, you 've 
been and smeared it all — there — that'll do for you, — that's 
as good as the best name as ever was written : ** and a big 
blotch of ink was presumed to represent Billy Gazy's acqui- 

" Now Jonathan," said Handy, turning to Crumple. 

" A hundred a year's a nice thing, for sartain," again argued 
Crumple. " Well, neighbour Skulpit, how's it to be?' 

D 4 


" Oh, please yourself/' said Skulpit : " please yourself, and 
you '11 please me." 

The pen was thrust into Crumple's hand, and a faint, 
wandering, meaningless sign was made, betokening such 
sanction and authority as Jonathan Crumple was able to 

" Come Joe," said Handy, softened by success, " don't let 
'em have to say that old Bunce has a man like you under his 
thumb — a man that always holds his head in the hospital as 
high as Bunce himself, though you 're never axed to drink 
wine, and sneak, and tell lies about your betters, as he does." 

Skulpit held the pen, and made little flourishes with it in 
the air, but still hesitated. 

" And if you '11 be said by me," continued Handy, " you '11 
not write your name to it at all, but just put your mark like 
the others," — the cloud began to clear from Skulpit's brow : — 
" we all know you can do it if you like, but maybe you would 
n't like to seem uppish, you know." 

"Well, the mark would be best," said Skulpit: "one name 
and the rest marks, would n't look well, would it? " 

"The worst in the world," said Handy ; "there — there :" 
and stooping over the petition, the learned clerk made a huge 
cross on the place left for his signature. 

" That 's the game," said Handy, triumphantly pocketing 
the petition ; " we're all in a boat now, that is, the nine of us ; 

and as for old Bunce, and his cronies, they may " But as 

he was hobbling off to the door, with a crutch on one side and 
a stick on the other, he was met by Bunce himself. 

" "Well, Handy, and what may old Bunce do ?" said the grey- 
haired, upright senior. 

Handy muttered something, and was departing ; but he was 
stopped in the doorway by the huge frame of the new comer. 

*' You 've been doing no good here, Abel Handy," said Lc, 


"'tis pi?»'n to see that; and 'tis n't much good, I'm thinking, 
you ever do." 

"I mind my own business, Master Bunce," muttered the 
other, " and do you do the same. It a' n't nothing to you what 
I does — and your spying and poking here won't do no good 
nor yet no harm." 

"I suppose then, Joe," continued Bunce, not noticing his 
opponent, " if the truth must out, you 've stuck your name to 
that petition of theirs at last." 

Skulpit looked as though he were about to sink into nothing 
with shame. 

" What is it to you what he signs ?" said Handy. "I sup- 
pose if we all wants to ax for our own, we need n't ax leave 
of you first, Mr. Bunce, big a man as you are : and as to your 
sneaking in here, into Job's room when he's busy, and where 
you 're not wanted " 

" I 've knowed Job Skulpit, man and boy, sixty years," said 
Bunce, looking at the man of whom he spoke, " and that 's 
ever since the day he was born. I knowed the mother that 
bore him, when she and I were little wee things, picking 
daisies together in the close yonder ; and I 've lived under the 
same roof with him more nor ten years ; and after that I may 
come into his room without axing leave, and yet no sneaking 

" So you can, Mr. Bunce," said Skulpit ; "so you can, any 
hour, day or night." 

" And I'm free also to tell him my mind," continued Bunce, 
looking at the one man and addressing the other; " and I tell him 
now that he's done a foolish and a wrong thing : he 's turned 
his back upon one who is his best friend ; and is playing the 
game of others, who care nothing for him, whether he be poor 
or rich, well or ill, alive or dead. A hundred a year? Are 
the lot of you soft enouqjh to think that if a hundred a year be 


to be given, it 's the likes of you that will get it? " — and he 
pointed to Billy Gazy, Spriggs, and Crumple. "Didanyof U3 
erer do anything worth half the money? Was it to make 
gentlemen of us we were brought in here, when all the world 
turned against us, and we could n't longer earn our daily 
bread? A' n't you all as rich in your ways as he in his?" — 
and the orator pointed to the side on which the warden lived. 
'• A' n't you getting all you hoped for, ay, and more than you 
hoped for ? Would n't each of you have given the dearest 
limb of his body to secure that which now makes you so 

" We wants what John Hiram left us," said Handy ; " we 
wants what 's ourn by law ; it don't matter what we expected ; 
what 's ourn by law should be ourn, and by goles we'll 
have it." 

" Law ! " said Bunce, with all the scorn he knew how to 
command, — " law ! Did ye ever know a poor man yet was the 
better for law, or for a lawyer? Will Mr. Finney ever be 
as good to you. Job, as that man has been? Will he see to you 
when you 're sick, and comfort you when you 're wretched ? 
Will he " 

" No, nor give you port wine, old boy, on cold winter 
nights ! he won't do that, will he?" asked Handy: and laugh- 
ing at the severity of his own wit, he and his colleagues re- 
tired, carrying with them, however, the now powerful petition. 

There is no help for spilt milk ; and Mr. Bunce could only 
retire to his own room, disgusted at the frailty of human nature 
— Job Skulpit scratched his head — Jonathan Crumple again 
remarked, that, 'for sartain, sure a hundred a year was very 
nice ' — and Billy Gazy again rubbed his eyes, and lowly mut- 
tered that * he did n't know.' 




Though doubt and hesitation disturbed the rest of our poor 
warden, no such weakness perplexed the nobler breast of his 
son-in-law. As the indomitable cock preparing for the com- 
bat sharpens his spurs, shakes his feathers, and erects his 
comb, so did the archdeacon arrange his weapons for the 
coming war, without misgiving and without fear. That he 
was fully confident of the justice of his cause let no one doubt. 
Many a man can fight his battle with good courage, but with a 
doubting conscience ; such was not the case with Dr. Grantly. 
He did not believe in the Gospel with more assurance than he 
did in tlie sacred justice of all ecclesiastical revenues. When 
he put his shoulder to the wheel to defend the income of the 
present and future precentors of Barchester, he was animated 
by as strong a sense of a holy cause, as that which gives 
courage to a missionary in Africa, or enables a sister of mercy 
to give up the pleasures of the world for the wards of a 
liospital. He was about to defend the holy of holies from the 
touch of the profane ; to guard the citadel of his church from 
the most rampant of its enemies ; to put on his good armour in 
the best of fights ; and secure, if possible, the comforts of his 
creed for coming generations of ecclesiastical dignitaries. 
Such a work required no or.^inary vigour ; and the arch- 
deacon was, therefore, extra"ordinarily vigorous: it demanded 
a buoyant courage, and a heart haj^py in its toil ; and the 
archdeacon's heart was happy, and his courage was buoyant. 

He knew that he would not be able to animate his father-in- 
law with feelings like his own, but this did not much disturb 
him. He preferred to bear the brunt of the battle alone, and 


did not doubt that the warden would resign himself into his 
hands with passive submission. 

" Well, Mr. Chadwick," he said, walking into the steward's 
office a day or two after the signing of the petition as com- 
memorated in the last chapter; "anything from Cox and 
Cummins this morning ?*' Mr. Chadwick handed him a letter; 
which he read, stroking the tight-gaitered calf of his right leg 
as he did so. ^Messrs. Cox and Cummins merely said that 
they had as yet received no notice from their adversaries; 
that they could recommend no preliminary steps; but that 
should any proceeding really be taken by the bedesmen, it 
would be expedient to consult that very eminent Queen's 
Counsel, Sir Abraham Haphazard. 

" I quite agree with them," said Dr. Grantly, refolding the 
letter. " I perfectly agree with them. Haphazard is no doubt 
the best man ; a thorough churchman, a sound conservative, 
and in every respect the best man we could get — he's in the 
house, too, which is a great thing." 

Mr. Chadwick quite agreed. 

'' You remember how completely he put down that scoundrel 
Horseman about the Bishop of Beverley's income ; how com- 
pletely he set them all adrift in the earl's case." Since the 
question of St. Cross had been mooted by the public, one noble 
lord had become "Me earl,'' par excellence, in the doctor's 
estimation. " How he silenced that fellow at Rochester. Of 
course we must have Haphazard ; and I'll tell you what, Mr. 
Chadwick, we must take care to be in time, or the other party 
will forestall us." 

With all his admiration for Sir Abraham, the doctor seemed 
to think it not impossible that that great man might be in- 
duced to lend his gigantic powers to the side of the church's 

Having settled this point to his satisfaction, the doctor 


stepped down to the hospital, to learn how matters were going 
on there ; and as he walked across the hallowed close, and 
looked up at the ravens who cawed with a peculiar reverence 
as he wended his way, he thought with increased acerbity of 
those whose impiety would venture to disturb the goodly grace 
of cathedral institutions. 

And who has not felt the same? "\Ve believe that Mr. 
Horsman himself would relent, and the spirit of Sir Benja- 
min Hall give way, were those great reformers to allow them- 
selves to stroll by moonlight round the towers of some of our 
ancient churches. Who would not feel charity for a preben- 
dary, when walking the quiet length of that long aisle at Win- 
chester, looking at those decent houses, that trim grassplat, 
and feeling, as one must, the solemn, orderly comfort of the 
spot ! Who could be hard upon a dean while wandering round 
the sweet close of Hereford, and owning that in that precinct, 
tone and colour, design and form, solemn tower and storied 
window, are all in unison, and all perfect ! Who could lie 
basking in the cloisters of Salisbury, and gaze on Jewel's 
library, and that unequalled spire, without feeling that bishops 
should sometimes be rich ! 

The tone of our archdeacon's mind must not astonish us ; it 
has been the growth of centuries of church ascendency ; and 
though some fungi now disfigure the tree, though there be 
much dead wood, for how much good fruit have not we to be 
thankful ? Who, without remorse, can batter down the dead 
branches of an old oak, now useless, but, ah ! still so beautiful, 
or drag out the fragments of the ancient forest, without 
feeling that they sheltered the younger plants, to which they 
are now summoned to give way in a tone so peremptory and 
so harsh ? 

The archdeacon, with all his virtues, was not a man of deli- 
cate feeling ; and after having made his morning salutations in 


the warden's drawing-room, he did not scruple to commence an 
attack on * pestilent ' John Bold in the presence of Miss Hard 
ing, though he rightly guessed that that lady was not indifferent 
to the name of his enemy, 

"Nelly, my dear, fetch me my spectacles from the back 
room," said her father, anxious to save both her blushes and 
her feelings. 

Eleanor brought the spectacles, while her father was trying, 
in ambiguous phrases, to explain to her too-practical brother- 
in-law that it might be as well not to say anything about Bold 
before her, and then retreated. Nothing had been explained 
to her about Bold and the hospital ; but, with a woman's 
instinct, she knew that things were going wrong. 

" We must soon be doing something," commenced the arch- 
deacon, wiping his brows with a large, bright-coloured hand- 
kerchief, for he had felt busy, and had walked quick, and it 
was a broiling summer's day. " Of course you have heard of 
the petition ? " 

Mr. Harding owned, somewhat unwillingly, that he had 
heard of it. 

" Well," — the archdeacon looked for some expressions of 
opinion, but none coming, he continued, — " We must be doing 
something, you know ; we must n't allow these people to cut 
the ground from under us while we sit looking on." The 
archdeacon, who was a practical man, allowed himself the use 
of every-day expressive modes of speech when among his 
closest intimates, though no one could soar into a more intricate 
labyrinth of refined phraseology when the church was the 
subject, and his lower brethren were his auditors. 

The warden still looked mutely in his face, making the 
slightest possible passes with an imaginary fiddle bow, and 
stopping, as he did so, sundry imaginary strings with the 
fingers of his other hand. 'T was his constant consolation in 


conversational troubles. While these vexed him sorely, the 
passes would be short and slow, and the upper hand would not 
be seen to work ; nay the strings on which it operated would 
sometimes lie concealed in the musician's pocket, and the 
instrument on which he played would be beneath his chair ; 
but as his spirit warmed to the subject, — as his trusting heart, 
looking to the bottom of that which vexed him, would see its 
clear way out, — he would rise to a higher melody, sweep the 
unseen strings with a bolder hand, and swiftly fingering the 
cords from his neck, down along his waistcoat, and up again to 
his very ear, create an ecstatic strain of perfect music, audible 
to himself and to St. Cecilia, and not without effect. 

" I quite agree with Cox and Cummins," continued the 
archdeacon : " they say we must secure Sir Abraham Hapha- 
zard. I shall not have the slightest fear in leaving the case in 
Sir Abraham's hands." • 

The warden played the slowest and saddest of tunes : it was 
but a dirge on one string. 

" I think Sir Abraham will not be long in letting Master 
Bold know what he 's about. I fancy I hear Sir Abraham 
cross-questioning him at the Common Pleas." 

The warden thought of his income being thus discussed, his 
modest life, his daily habits, and his easy work ; and nothing 
issued from that single cord, but a low wail of sorrow. " I 
suppose they 've sent this petition up to my father." The 
warden did n't know ; he imagined they would do so this very 

" What I can't understand is, how you let them do it, with 
such a command as you have in the place, or should have with 
such a man as Bunco ; I cannot understand why you let them 
do it." 

" Do what ? " asked the warden. 

" Why, listen to this fellow Bold, and that other low petti- 


fogger, Finney — and get up this petition too : wliy did n*t you 
tell Bunce to destroy the petition ? " 

" That would have been hardly wise," said the warden. 

" Wise — yes, it would have been very wise if they 'd done 
it among themselves. I must go up to the palace and answer 
it now, I suppose ; it 's a very short answer they '11 get, I can 
tell you." 

" But why should n't they petition, doctor ? " 

" Why should n't they ! " responded the archdeacon, in a 
loud brazen voice, as though all the men in the hospital were 
expected to hear him through the walls ; " why should n't they. 
I '11 let them know why they should n't : by-the-by, warden, 
I 'd like to say a few words to them all together." 

The warden's mind misgave him, and even for a moment he 
forgot to play. He by no means wished to delegate to his son- 
in-law his place and authority of warden ; he had expressly 
determined not to interfere in any step which the men might 
wish to take in the matter under dispute ; he was most anxious 
neither to accuse them nor to defend himself. All these things 
he was aware the archdeacon would do in his behalf, and that 
not in the mildest manner ; and yet he knew not how to refuse 
the permission requested. 

"I'd so much sooner remain quiet in the matter," said he, 
in an apologetic voice. 

" Quiet ! " said the archdeacon, still speaking with his 
brazen trumpet ; '•' do you wish to be ruined in quiet ? " 

" Why, if I am to be ruined, certainly." 

" Nonsense, warden ; I tell you something must be done — 
we must act ; just let me ring the bell, and send the men word 
that I'll speak to them in the quad." 

Mr. Harding knew not how to resist, and the disagreeable 
order was given. The quad, as it was familiarly called, was a 
small quadrangle, open on one'side to the river, and surrounded 


on the others hj the high wall of Mr. Harding's garden, by 
one gable end of Mr. Harding's house, and by the end of the 
row of buildings which formed the residences of the bedesmen. 
It was flagged all round, and the centre was stoned ; small 
stone gutters ran from the four corners of the square to a 
grating in the centre ; and attached to the end of Mr. Harding's 
house was a conduit with four cocks covered over from the 
weather, at which the old men got their water, and very 
generally performed their morning toilet. It was a quiet, 
sombre place, shaded over by the trees of the warden's garden. 
On the side towards the river, there stood a row of stone seats, 
on which the old men would sit and gaze at the little fish, as 
they flitted by in the running stream. On the other side of 
the river was a rich, green meadow, running up to and joining 
the deanery, and as little open to the public as the garden of 
the dean itself. Nothing, therefore, could be more private 
than the quad of the hospital ; and it was there that the arch- 
deacon determined to convey to them his sense of their 
refractory proceedings. 

The servant soon brought in word that the men were as- 
sembled in the quad, and the archdeacon, big with his purpose, 
rose to address them. 

"Well, warden, of course you're coming," said he, seeing 
that Mr. Harding did not prepare to follow him. 

" I wish you'd excuse me," said Mr. Harding. 

"For heaven's sake, don't let us have division in the 
camp," replied the archdeacon : "let us have a long pull and a 
strong pull, but above all a pull altogether j come, warden, 
come ; don't be afraid of your duty." 

Mr. Harding was afraid ; he was afraid that he was being 
led to do that which was not his duty : he was not, however, 
strong enough to resist, so he got up and followed his son-in- 



The old men were assembled in groups in the quadrangle — 
eleven of them at least, for poor old Johnny Bell was bed- 
ridden, and could'nt come ; he had, however, put his mark to 
the petition, as one of Handj's earliest followers. 'Tis true 
he could not move from the bed where he lay ; 'tis true he 
had no friend on earth, but those whom the hospital contained ; 
and of those the warden and his daughter were the most 
constant and most appreciated ; 'tis true that every thing was 
administered to him which his failing body could require, or 
which his faint appetite could enjoy ; but still his dull eye had 
glistened for a moment at the idea of possessing a hundred 
pounds a year " to his own cheek," as Abel Handy had elo- 
quently expressed it ; and poor old Johnny Bell had greedily 
put his mark to the petition. 

When the two clergymen appeared, they all uncovered their 
heads. Handy was slow to do it, and hesitated ; but the black 
coat and waistcoat, of which he had spoken so irreverently in 
Skulpit's room, had its effect even on him, and he too doffed 
his hat. Bunce, advancing before the others, bowed lowly to 
the archdeacon, and with affectionate reverence expressed his 
wish, that the warden and Miss Eleanor were quite well; "and 
the doctor's lady," he added, turning to the archdeacon, " and 
the children at Plumstead, and my lord ; " and having made 
his speech, he also retired among the others, and took his 
place with the rest upon the stone benches. 

As the archdeacon stood up to make his speech, erect in the 
middle of that little square, he looked like an ecclesiastical 
statue placed there, as a fitting impersonation of the church 
militant here on earth ; his shovel hat, large, new, and well- 
pronounced, a churchman's hat in every inch, declared the 
profession as plainly as does the Quaker's broad brim ; his 
heavy eyebrow, large open eyes, and full mouth and chin ex- 
pressed the solidity of his order; the broad chest, amply 


covered with fine cloth, told how well to do was its estate ; 
one hand ensconced within his pocket, evinced the practical 
hold which our mother church ke^ps on her temporal posses- 
sions ; and the other, loose for action, was ready to fight if 
need be in her defence ; and below these the decorous breeches, 
and neat black gaiters showing so admirably that well-turned 
leg, betokened the decency, the outward beauty, and grace of 
our church establishment. 

" Now, my men," he began, when he had settled himself well 
in his position ; *' I want to say a few words to you. Your 
good friend, the warden here, and myself, and my lord the 
bishop, on whose behalf I wish to speak to you, would all be 
very sorry, ver7 sorry indeed, that you should have any just 
ground of complaint. Any just ground of complaint on your 
part would be removed at once by the warden, or by his lord- 
ship, or by me on his behalf, without the necessity of any 
>etition on your part." Here the orator stopped for a moment, 
expecting that some little murmurs of applause would show 
that the weakest of the men were beginning to give way ; but 
no such murmurs came. Bunce, himself, even sat with closed 
lips, mute and unsatisfactory. " Without the necessity of any 
petition at all," he repeated. "I'm told you have addressed a 
petition to my lord." He paused for a reply from the men, 
and after a while. Handy plucked up courage, and said, " Yes, 
we has." 

" You have addressed a petition to my lord, in which, as 
I am informed, you express an opinion that you do not receive 
from Hiram's estate all that is your due." Here most of the men 
expressed their assent. " Now what is it you ask for ? what 
is it you want that you hav'n't got here? what is it " 

*• A hundred a year," muttered old Moody, with a voice as 
if it came out of the ground. 

"A hundred a year!" ejaculated the archdeacon militant, 

£ 2 


defying the impudence of these claimants with one hand 

stretched out and closed, while with the other he tightly 
grasped, and secured within his breeches pocket, that symbol 
of the church's wealth which his own loose half-crowns not 
unaptly represented. " A hundred a year ! Why, my men, 
you must be mad ; and you talk about John Hiram's will ! 
When John Hiram built a hospital for worn-out old men, 
worn-out old labouring men, infirm old men past their work, 
cripples, blind, bed-ridden, and such like, do you think he 
meant to make gentlemen of them ? Do you think John Hiram 
intended to give a hundred a year to old single men, who 
earned perhaps two shillings or half-a-crown a day for them- 
selves and families in the best of their time ? No, my men, 
I'll tell you what John Hiram meant ; he meant that twelve 
poor old worn-out labourers, men who could no longer support 
themselves, who had no friends to support them, who must 
starve and perish miserably if not protected by the hand of 
charity ; he meant that twelve such men as these should come 
in here in their poverty and wretchedness, and find within 
these walls shelter and food before their death, and a little 
leisure to make their peace with God. That was what John 
Hiram meant : you have not read John Hiram's will, and I 
doubt whether those wicked men who are advising you have 
done so. I have ; I know what his will was ; and I tell you 
that that was his will, and that that was his intention." 

Not a sound came from the eleven bedesmen, as they sat 
listening to what, according to the archdeacon, was their 
intended estate. They grimly stared upon his burly figure, 
but did not then express, by word or sign, the anger and 
disgust to which such language was sure to give rise. 

" Now let me ask you," he continued, " do you think you 
are worse off than John Hiram intended to make you ? Have 
you not shelter, and food, and leisure ? Have you not much 


raore ? Have you not every indulgence which you are capable 
of enjoying? Have you not twice better food, twice a better 
bed, ten times more money in your pocket than you were ever 
able to earn for yourselves before you were lucky enough to 
get into this place? And now you send a petition to the 
bishop, asking for a hundred pounds a year ! I tell you what, 
my friends ; you are deluded, and made fools of by wicked 
men who are acting for their own ends. You will never get 
a hundred pence a year more than what you have now: it is 
very possible that you may get less ; it is very possible that 
my lord the bishop, and your warden, may make changes " 

"No, no, no," interrupted iSIr. Harding, who had been 
listening with indescribable misery to the tirade of his son- 
in-law ; "no, my friends. I want no changes, — at least no 
changes that shall make you w^orse off than you now are, as 
long as you and I live together." 

" God bless you, Mr. Harding," said Bunce ; and " God 
bless you, Mr. Harding, God bless you, sir, we know you was 
always our friend," was exclaimed by enough of the men to 
make it appear that the sentiment was general. 

The archdeacon had been interrupted in his speech before 
he had quite finished it ; but he felt that he could not recom- 
mence with dignity after this little ebullition, and he led the 
way back into the garden, followed by his father-in-law. 

" Well," said he, as soon as he found himself within the 
cool retreat of the warden's garden ; " I think I spoke to them 
plainly." And he wiped the perspiration from his brow ; for 
making a speech under a broiling mid-day sun in summer, in 
a f j11 suit of thick black cloth, is warm work. 

" Yes, you were plain enough," replied the warden, in a tone 
which did not express approbation. 

"' And that's everything," said the other, who was clearly 
well satisfied with himself; "that's everything: with these 

£ 3 


sort of people one must be plain, or one will not be understood. 
Now, I think they did understand me — I think the/ knew 
what I meant." 

The warden agreed. He certainly thought they had under- 
stood to the full what had been said to them. 

" They know pretty well what they have to expect from us ; 
they know how we shall meet any refractory spirit on their 
part; they know that we are not afraid of them. And now I'll 
just step into Chadwick's, and tell him what I've done; and 
then I'll go up to the palace, and answer this petition of 

The warden's mind was very full — full nearly to over- 
charging itself; and had it done so — had he allowed himself 
to speak the thoughts which were working within him, he would 
indeed have astonished the archdeacon by the reprobation he 
would have expressed as to the proceeding of which he had 
been so unwilling a witness. But different feelings kept him 
silent; he was as yet afraid of differing from his son-in-law — 
he was anxious beyond measure to avoid even a semblance of 
rupture with any of his order, and was painfully fearful of 
having to come to an open quarrel with any person on any 
subject. His life had hitherto been so quiet, so free from 
strife ; his little early troubles had required nothing but passive 
fortitude ; his subsequent prosperity had never forced upon 
him any active cares — had never brought him into disagree-* 
able contact with any one. He felt that he would give almost 
anything — much more than he knew he ought to do — to 
relieve himself from the storm which he feared was coming. 
It was so hard that the pleasant waters of his little stream 
should be disturbed and muddied by rough hands ; that his 
quiet paths should be made a battle-field; that the unobtrusive 
corner of the world which had been allotted to him, as though 

DR. gra:ntly visits the hospital. 55 

by Providence, should be inyaded and desecrated, and all 
within it made miserable and unsound. 

Money he had none to give ; the knack of putting guineas 
together had never belonged to him ; but how willingly, with 
what a foolish easiness, with what happy alacrity, would he 
have abandoned the half of his income for all time to come, 
could he by so doing have quietly dispelled the clouds that 
were gathering over him — could he have thus compromised 
the matter between the reformer and the conservative, between 
his possible son-in-law, Bold, and his positive son-in-law, the 

And this compromise would not have been made from any 
prudential motive of saving what would yet remain, for Mr. 
Harding still felt little doubt but he should be left for life in 
quiet possession of the good things he had, if he chose to retain 
them. No ; he would have done so from the sheer love of 
quiet, and from a horror of being made the subject of public 
talk. He had very often been moved to pity — to that inward 
weeping of the heart for others' woes ; but none had he ever 
pitied more than that old lord, whose almost fabulous wealth, 
drawn from his church preferments, had become the subject 
of so much opprobrium, of such public scorn ; that wretched 
clerical octogenarian Crcesus, whom men would not allow 
to die in peace — whom all the world united to decry and to 

AVas he to suffer such a fate ? Was his humble name to be 
bandied in men's mouths, as the gormandizer of the resources 
of the poor, as of one who had filched from the charity of other 
ages wealth which had been intended to relieve the old and 
the infirm ? Was he to be gibbeted in the press, to become a 
byword for oppression, to be named as an example of the greed 
of the English church? Should it ever be said that he had 
robbed those old men, whom he so truly and so tenderly loved 


in Lis heart of hearts ? As he slowly paced, hour after hour, 
under those noble lime-trees, turning these sad thoughts within 
Jiim, he became all but fixed in his resolve that some great 
step must be taken to relieve him from the risk of so terrible a 

In the meanwhile, the archdeacon, with contented mind 
and unruffled spirit, went about his business. He said a word 
or two to Mr. Chadwick, and then finding, as he expected, the 
petition Ijing in his father's library, he wrote a short answer 
to the men, in which he told them that they had no evils to 
redress, but rather great mercies for which to be thankful; 
and having seen the bishop sign it, he got into his brougham 
and returned home to Mrs. Grantly, and Plumstead Episcopi. 


THE "warden's tea PARTY. 

After much painful doubting, on one thing only could Mr. 
Harding resolve. He determined that at any rate he would 
take no offence, and that he would make this question no cause 
of quarrel either with Bold or with the bedesmen. In further- 
ance of this resolution, he himself wrote a note to Mr. Bold, 
the same afternoon, inviting him to meet a few friends and 
hear some music on an evening named in the next week. Had not 
this little party been promised to Eleanor, in his present state of 
mind he would probably have avoided such gaiety ; but the pro- 
mise had been given, the invitations were to be written, and 
when Eleanor consulted her father on the subject, she was not 
ill pleased to hear him say, " Oh, I was thinking of Bold, so I 

THE warden's tea PARTY. 57 

took it into my head to write to him myself, but you must write 
to his sister." 

Mary Bold was older than her brother, and, at the time of 
our story, was just over thirty. She was not an unattractive 
young woman, though by no means beautiful. Her great 
merit was the kindliness of her disposition. She was not very 
clever, nor very animated, nor had she apparently the energy 
of her brother ; but she was guided by a high principle of right 
and wrong ; her temper was sweet, and her faults were fewer 
in number than her virtues. Those who casually met Mary Bold 
thought little of her ; but those who knew her well loved her 
well, and the longer they knew her the more they loved her 
Among those who were fondest of her was Eleanor Harding, 
and though Eleanor had never openly talked to her of her 
brother, each understood the other's feelings about him. The 
brother and sister were sitting together when the two notes 
were brought in. 

" How odd," said Mary, " that they should send two notes. 
Well, if Mr. Harding becomes fashionable, the world is going 
to change." 

Her brother understood immediately the nature and inten- 
tion of the peace-offering ; but it was not so easy for him to 
behave well in the matter, as it was for Mr. Harding. It is 
much less difficult for the sufferer to be generous than for the 
oppressor. John Bold felt that he could not go to the warden's 
party : he never loved Eleanor better than he did now ; he had 
never so strongly felt how anxious he was to make her his wife 
as now, when so many obstacles to his doing so appeared in 
view. Yet here was her father himself, as it were, clearing 
away those very obstacles, and still he felt that he could not 
go to the house any more as an open friend. 

As he sat thinking of these things with the note in his hand, 
his sister was waiting for his decision. 


" Well," said she, " I suppose we must write separate answers, 
and both saj we shall be very happy." 

''You'll go, of course, Mary," said he; to which she readily 
assented. "I cannot," he continued, looking serious and 
gloomy ; " I wish I could, with all my heart." 

'*And why not, John?" said she. She had as yet heard 
nothing of the new-found abuse which her brother was about 
to reform ; at least nothing which connected it with her brother's 

He sat thinking for awhile till he determined that it would 
be best to tell her at once what it was that he was about : it 
must be done sooner or later. 

" I fear I cannot go to Mr. Harding's house any more as a 
friend, just at present." 

" Oh, John ! Why not ? Ah, you 've quarrelled with 
Eleanor ! '* 

" No, indeed," said he ; *' I 've no quarrel with her as yet." 

" What is it, John ? " said she, looking at him with an 
anxious, loving face, for she knew well how much of his heart 
was there in that house which he said he could no longer 

" Why," said he at last, " I 've taken up the case of these 
twelve old men of Hiram's Hospital, and of course that brings 
me into contact with Mr. Harding. I may have to oppose 
him, interfere with him, perhaps injure him." 

Mary looked at him steadily for some time before she com- 
mitted herself to reply, and then merely asked him what he 
meant to do for the old men. 

" Why, it's a long story, and I don't know that I can make 
you understand it. John Hiram made a will, and left his 
property in charity for certain poor old men, and the proceeds, 
instead of going to the benefit of these men, goes chiefly into 
the pocket of the warden, and the bishop's steward." 

THE warden's tea PARTY. 59 

" And you mean to take away from Mr. Harding his share 
of it?" 

" I don't know what I mean yet. I mean to inquire about it. 
I mean to see who is entitled to this property. I mean to see, 
if I can, that justice be. done to the poor of the city of Bar- 
chester generally, who are, in fact, the legatees under the will. 
I mean, in short, to put the matter right, if I can." 

" And why are you to do this, John ? " 

" You might ask the same question of anybody else," said he : 
" and according to that, the duty of righting these poor men 
would belong to nobody. If we are to act on that principle, 
the weak are never to be protected, injustice is never to 
be opposed, and no one is to struggle for the poor ! " And 
Bold began to comfort himself in the warmth of his own 

"But is there no one to do this but you, who have known 
Mr. Harding so long ? Surely, John, as a friend, as a young 
friend, so much younger than Mr. Harding " 

" That's woman's logic, all over, Mary. What has age to do 
with it ? Another man might plead that he was too old ; and 
as to his friendship, if the thing itself be right, private motives 
should never be allowed to interfere. Because I esteem Mr. 
Harding, is that a reason that I should neglect a duty which I 
owe to these old men ? or should I give up a work which my 
conscience tells me is a good one, because I regret the loss of 
his society ? " 

"And Eleanor, John?" said the sister, looking timidly into 
her brother's face. 

"Eleanor, that is. Miss Harding, if she thinks fit — that is, 
if her father — or rather, if she — or, indeed, he, — if they find 
it necessary — but there is no necessity now to talk about 
Eleanor Harding ; but this I will say, that if she has the kind 
of spirit for which I give her credit, she will not condemn me 


for domg what I think to be a duty." And Bold consoled 

himself with the consolation of a Roman. 

Mary sat silent for awhile, till at last her brother reminded 

her that the notes must be answered, and she got up, and 

placed her desk before her, took out her pen and paper, wrote 

on it slowly, — 

"Pakcnham Villas, Tuesday morning. 
" My dear Eleanor, 

a J n 

and then stopped, and looked at her brother. 

" Well, ]\Iary, why don't you write it ? " 

" Oh, John," said she, " dear John, pray think better of 

" Think better of what ? " said he. 

" Of this about the hospital, — of all this about Mr. Harding, 
— of what you say about those old men. Nothing can call upon 
you, — no duty can require you to set yourself against your 
oldest, your best friend. Oh, John, think of Eleanor; you'll 
break her heart and your own." 

" Xonsense, Mary ; Miss Harding's heart is as safe as yours.'* 

" Pray, pray, for my sake, John, give it up. You know how 
dearly you love her." And she came and knelt before him on 
the rug. " Pray give it up. You are going to make yourself, 
and her, and her father miserable : you are going to make us 
all miserable. And for what? For a dream of justice. You 
will never make those twelve men happier than they now are." 

" You don't understand it, my dear girl," said he, smoothing 
her hair with his hand. 

" I do understand it, John. I understand that this is a 
chimera — a dream that you have got. I know well that no 
duty can require you to do this mad — this suicidal thing. I 
know you love Eleanor Harding with all your heart, and I tell 
you now that she loves you as well. If there was a plain, a 

THE warden's tea PARTY. 61 

positive duty before you, I would be the last to bid you neglect 

it for any woman's love ; but this oh, think again, before 

you do anything to make it necessary that you and Mr. Hard- 
ing should be at variance." He did not answer, as she knelt 
there, leaning on his knees, but by his face she thought that 
he was inclined to yield. *' At any rate let me say that you 
will go to this party. At any rate do not break with them 
while your mind is in doubt." And she got up, hoping to 
conclude her note in the way she desired. 

" My mind is not in doubt," at last he said, rising ; " I could 
never respect myself again, were I to give way now, because 
Eleanor Harding is beautiful. I do love her : I would give 
a hand to hear her tell me what you have said, speaking on 
her behalf; but I cannot for her sake go back from the task 
which I have commenced. I hope she may hereafter acknow- 
ledge and respect my motives, but I cannot now go as a guest 
to her father's house." And the Barchester Brutus went out 
to fortify his own resolution by meditations on his own virtue. 

Poor Mary Bold sat down, and sadly finished her note, 
saying that she would herself attend the party, but that her 
brother was inavoidably prevented from doing so. I fear that 
she did not admire as she should have done the self-devotion 
of his singular virtue. 

The party went off as such parties do : there were fat old 
ladies, in fine silk dresses, and slim young ladies, in gauzy 
muslin frocks ; old gentlemen stood up with their backs to the 
empty fire-place, looking by no means so comfortable as they 
would have done in tlieir own arm-chairs at home ; and young 
gentlemen, rather stiff about the neck, clustered near the door, 
not as yet sufiiciently in courage to attack the muslin frocks, 
who awaited the battle, drawn up in a semicircular array. The 
warden endeavoured to induce a charge, but failed signally, 
not having the tact of a general ; his daughter did what she 


could to comfort the forces under her command, who took in 
refreshing rations of cake and tea, and patiently looked for the 
coming engagement : but she herself, Eleanor, had no spirit 
for the work ; the only enemy whose lance she cared to 
encounter was not there, and she and others were somewhat 

Loud above all voices was heard the clear sonorous tones of 
the archdeacon as he dilated to brother parsons of the danger 
of the church, of the fearful rumours of mad reforms even at 
Oxford, and of the damnable heresies of Dr. Whiston. 

Soon, however, sweeter sounds began timidly to make 
themselves audible. Little movements were made in a quarter 
notable for round stools and music stands. Wax candles were 
arranged in sconces, big books were brought from hidden 
recesses, and the work of the evening commenced. 

How often were those pegs twisted and retwisted before our 
friend found that he had twisted them enough; how many 
discordant scrapes gave promise of the coming harmony ! How 
much the muslin fluttered and crumpled before Eleanor and 
another nymph were duly seated at the piano; how closely 
did that tall Apollo pack himself against the wall, with his 
flute, long as himself, extending high over the heads of his 
pretty neighbours; into how small a corner crept that round 
and florid little minor canon, and there with skill amazing 
found room to tune his accustomed fiddle! 

And now the crash begins : away they go in full flow of har- 
mony together — up hill and down dale — now louder and louder, 
then lower and lower: now loud, as though stirring the battle; 
then low, as though mourning the slain. In all, through all, and 
above all, is heard the violoncello. Ah, not for nothing were 
those pegs so twisted and retwisted — listen, listen! Now alone 
that saddest of instruments tells its touching tale. Silent, and 
in awe, stand fiddle, flute, and piano, to hear the sorrows of 

THE warden's tea PARTY. 63 

tlieir wailing brother. 'T is but for a moment ; before the 
melancholy of tliose low notes has been fullj realised, again 
comes the full force of all the band — down go the pedals, away 
rush twenty fingers scouring over the bass notes with all the 
impetus of passion. Apollo blows till his stiff neckcloth is no 
better than a rope, and the minor canon works both arms till 
he falls in a syncope of exhaustion against the wall. 

How comes it that now, when all should be silent, when 
courtesy, if not taste, should make men listen, — how is it at 
this moment the black-coated corps leave their retreat and 
begin skirmishing ? One by one they creep forth, and fire off 
little guns timidly, and without precision. Ah, my men, 
efforts such as these will take no cities, even though the enemy 
should be never so open to assault. At length a more deadly 
artillery is brought to bear; slowly, but with effect, the 
advance is made; the muslin ranks are broken, and fall into 
confusion; the formidable array of chairs gives way; the battle 
is no longer between opposing regiments, but hand to hand, 
and foot to foot with single combatants, as in the glorious days 
of old, when fighting was really noble. In corners, and under 
the shadow of curtains, behind sofas and half hidden by doors, 
in retiring windows, and sheltered by hanging tapestry, are 
blows given and returned, fatal, incurable, dealing death. 

Apart from this another combat arises, more sober and more 
serious. The archdeacon is engaged against two prebendaries, 
a pursy full-blown rector assisting him, in all the perils and all 
the enjoyments of short whist. With solemn energy do they 
watch the shuffled pack, and, all-expectant, eye the coming 
trump. With what anxious nicety do they arrange their 
cards, jealous of each other's eyes! Why is that lean doctor 
so slow — cadaverous man with hollow jaw and sunken eye, ill 
beseeming the richness of his mother church! Ah, why so 
slow, thou meagre doctor? See how tlie archdeacon, speechless 


in his agony, deposits on the board his cards, and looks to 
heaven or to the ceiling for support. Hark, how he sighs, as 
with thumbs in his waistcoat pocket he seems to signify that 
the end of such torment is not yet even nigh at hand! Vain 
is the hope, if hope there be, to disturb that meagre doctor. 
With care precise he places every card, weighs well the 
value of each mighty ace, each guarded king, and comfort- 
giving queen; speculates on knave and ten, counts all his suits, 
and sets his price upon the whole. At length a card is led, 
and quick three others fall upon the board. The little doctor 
leads again, while with lustrous eye his partner absorbs the 
trick. Now thrice has this been done — thrice has constant 
fortune favoured the brace of prebendaries, ere the archdeacon 
rouses himself to the battle : but at the fourth assault he 
pins to the earth a prostrate king, laying low his crown 
and sceptre, bushy beard, and lowering brow, with a poor 

"As David did Goliath," says the archdeacon, pushing over 
the four cards to his partner. And then a trump is led, then 
another trump; then a king — and then an ace — and then a 
long ten, which brings down from the meagre doctor his only 
remaining tower of strength — his cherished queen of trumps. 

"What, no second club?" says the archdeacon to his 

"' Only one club," mutters from his inmost stomach the 
pursy rector, who sits there red faced, silent, impervious, 
careful, a safe but not a brilliant ally. 

But the archdeacon cares not for many clubs, or for none. 
He dashes out his remaining cards with a speed most annoy- 
ing to his antagonists, pushes over to them some four cards as 
their allotted portion, shoves the remainder across the table 
to the red-faced rector ; calls out " two by cards and two by 
honours, and the odd trick last time," marks a treble under 


* and victory I see none left to us in this world below. I for 

* one cannot trust much to serene face and despatch box ! ' 

There might be truth in this, there might be depth of 
reasoning ; but Englishmen did not see enough in the argument 
to induce them to withdraw their confidence from the present 
arrangements of the government, and Dr. Anticant's monthly 
pamphlet on the decay of the world did not receive so much 
attention as his earlier works. He did not confine himself to 
politics in these publications, but roamed at large over all 
matters of public interest, and found everything bad. Ac- 
cording to him nobody was true, and not only nobody, but no- 
thing ; a man could not take otf his hat to a lady without 
telling a lie — the lady would lie again in smiling. The ruffles 
of the gentleman's shirt would be fraught with deceit, and the 
lady's flounces full of falsehood. "Was ever anything more 
severe than that attack of his on chip bonnets, or the anathemas 
with which he endeavoured to dust the powder out of the 
bishops' wigs ? 

The pamphlet which Tom Towers now pushed across the 
table was entitled " Modern Charity," and was written with the 
view of proving how much in the way of charity was done by 
our predecessors — how little by the present age ; and it ended 
by a comparison between ancient and modern times, very little 
to the credit of the latter. 

" Look at this," said Towers, getting up and turning over 
the pages of the pamphlet, and pointing to a passage near the 
end; "your friend the warden, who is so little selfish, won't 
like that, I fear." Bold read as follows : — 

' Heavens, what a sight ! Let us with eyes wide open see 
' the godly man of four centuries since, the man of the dark 
' ages : let us see how he does his godlike work, and, again, 
' how the godly man of these latter days does his. 

* Shall we say that tlie former is one walking painfully 


the partridges might not be abandoned, something could perhaps 
be done as to the poachers. We were unwilling, however, to 
take lessons in politics from so misty a professor ; and when he 
came to tell us that the heroes of Westminster were naught, 
we beo:an to think that he had written enough. His attack 
upon despatch boxes was not thought to have much in it ; but 
as it is short, the doctor shall again be allowed to speak his 
sentiments: — 

* Could utmost ingenuity in the management of red tape 
avail anything to men lying gasping — we may say, all but 
dead ; could despatch boxes with never-so-much velvet lining 
and Chubb's patent, be of comfort to a people iii extremis, I 
also, with so many others, would, with parched tongue, call 
on the name of Lord John Russell ; or, my brother, at your 
advice, on Lord Aberdeen ; or, my cousin, on Lord Derby, at 
yours ; being, with my parched tongue, indifferent in such 
matters. 'T is all one. Oh, Derby ! Oh, Gladstone ! Oh, 
Palmerston ! Oh, Lord John ! Each comes running with 
serene face and despatch box. Vain physicians ! though 
there were hosts of such, no despatch box will cure this dis- 
order ! What ! are these other doctors' new names, disciples 
who have not burdened their souls with tape ? Well, let us 
call again. Oh, Disraeli, great oppositionist, man of the 
bitter brow ! or, Oh, Molesworth, great reformer, thou who 
promisest Utopia. They come ; each with that serene face, 
and each — alas, me ! alas, my country ! — each with a des- 
patch box ! 

* Oh, the serenity of Downing Street ! 

* INIy brothers, when hope was over on the battle field, when 
' no dimmest chance of victory remained, the ancient Roman 

* could hide his face within his toga, and die gracefully. 

* Can you and I do so now ? If so, 't were best for us ; if not, 
' oh my brothers, we must die disgracefully, for hope of life 


ciently studied the works of Dr. Anticant, would become 
trutliful and energetic. But the doctor mistook the signs of 
the times and the minds of men, instituted himself censor of 
things in general, and began the great task of reprobating 
everything and everybody, without further promise of any 
millennium at all. This was not so well; and, to tell the truth, 
our author did not succeed in his undertaking. His theories 
were all beautiful, and the code of morals that he taught us 
certainly an improvement on the practices of the age. We all 
of us could, and many of us did, learn much from the doctor 
while he chose to remain vague, mysterious, and cloudy; but 
when he became practical, the charm was gone. 

His allusion to the poet and the partridges was received 
very well. ' Oh, my poor brother,' said he, ' slaughtered par- 
tridges a score of brace to each gun, and poets gauging ale- 
barrels, with sixty pounds a year, at Dumfries, are not the 
signs of a great era! perhaps of the smallest possible era yet 
written of. Whatever economies we pursue, political or 
other, let us see at once that this is the maddest of the un- 
economic : partridges killed by our land magnates at, shall we 
say, a guinea a head, to be retailed in Leadenhall at one shil- 
ling and ninepence, with one poacher in limbo for every fifty 
birds I our poet, maker, creator, gauging ale, and that badly, 
with no leisure for making or creating, only a little leisure 
for drinking, and such like beer-barrel avocations! Truly, a 
cutting of blocks with fine razors while we scrape our chins 
so uncomfortably with rusty knives! Oh, my political econo- 
mist, master of supply and demand, division of labour and high 
pressure — oh, my loud-speaking friend, tell me, if so much 
be in you, what is the demand for poets in these kingdoms of 
Queen Victoria, and what the vouchsafed supply?' 
This was all very well ; this gave us some hope. We might 
do better with our next poet, when we got one ; and though 


" That 's philosophical; it 's quite refreshing to hear a man 
talking of his hundreds in so purely indifferent a manner. But 
I *m sorry you are giving the matter up; it injures a man to 
commence a thing of this kind, and not carry it through. 
Have you seen that?" and he threw a small pamphlet across 
the table, which was all but damp from the press. 

Bold had not seen it nor heard of it; but he was well ac- 
quainted with the author of it — a gentleman whose pamphlets, 
condemnatory of all things in these modern days, had been a 
good deal talked about of late. 

Dr. Pessimist Anticant was a Scotchman, who had passed a 
great portion of his early days in Gennany; he had studied 
there with much effect, and had learnt to look with German 
subtilty into the root of things, and to examine for himself 
their intrinsic worth and worthlessness. No man ever resolved 
more bravely than he to accept as good nothing that was evil ; 
to banish from him as evil nothing that was good. 'T is a pity 
that he should not have recognised the fact, that in this world 
no good is unalloyed, and that there is but little evil that has 
not in it some seed of what is goodly. 

Eeturning from Germany, he had astonished the reading 
public by the vigour of his thoughts, put forth in the quaintest 
language. He cannot write English, said the critics. No 
matter, said the public; we can read what he does write, and 
that without yawning. And so Dr. Pessimist Anticant became 
popular. Popularity spoilt him for all further real use, as it 
has done many another. While, with some diffidence, he con- 
fined his objurgations to the occasional follies or short-comings 
of mankind; while he ridiculed the energy of the squire devoted 
to the slaughter of partridges, or the mistake of some noble 
patron who turned a poet into a ganger of beer-barrels, it was 
all well; we were glad to be told our faults and to look for- 
ward to the coming millennium, when all men, having suffi- 

L 4 

THE warden's tea PARTY. 6i> 

the candle-stick, and has dealt round the second pack before 
the meagre doctor has calculated his losses. 

And so went off the warden's party, and men and women 
arranging shawls and shoes declared how pleasant it had 
been ; and Mrs. Goodenough, the red-faced rector's wife, press- 
ing the warden's hand, declared she had never enjoyed herself 
better ; which showed how little pleasure she allowed herself 
in this world, as she had sat the whole evening through in the 
same chair without occupation, not speaking, and unspoken to. 
And Matilda Johnson, when she allowed young Dickson of the 
bank to fasten her cloak round her neck, thought that two 
hundred pounds a year and a little cottage would really do for 
happiness ; besides, he was sure to be manager some day. And 
Apollo, folding his flute into his pocket, felt that he had 
acquitted himself with honour ; and the archdeacon pleasantly 
jingled his gains ; but the meagre doctor went off without 
much audible speech, muttering ever and anon as he went, 
"three and thirty points!" "three and thirty points I" 

And so they all were gone, and Mr. Harding was left alone 
with his daughter. 

What had passed between Eleanor Harding and Mary Bold 
need not be told. It is indeed a matter of thankfulness that 
neither the historian nor the novelist hears all that is said by 
their heroes or heroines, or how would three volumes or twenty 
suffice ! In the present case so little of this sort have I over- 
heard, that I live in hopes of finishing my work within 300 
pages, and of completing that pleasant task — a novel in one 
volume ; but something had passed between them, and as the 
warden blew out the wax candles, and put his instrument into 
its case, his daughter stood sad and thoughtful by the empty 
fireplace, determined to speak to her father, but irresolute as 
to what she would say. 

"Well, Eleanor," said he, "are you for bed.'"' 



" Yes,** said she, moving, '•' I suppose so ; but papa Mr. 

Bold was not here to-night : do you know \\-hy not ? " 

He was asked ; I wrote to him myself/' said the warden. 
But do you know why he did not come, papa ? " 
Well, Eleanor, I could guess ; but it's no use guessing at 
such things, my dear. What makes you look so earnest 
about it ? " 

" Oh papa, do tell me," she exclaimed, throwing her arms 
round him, and looking into his face ; '• what is it he is going 
to do ? What is it all about ? Is there any — any — any — " 
she did n't well know what word to use — " any danger ?" 

'• Danger, my dear, what sort of danger ? " 

*■' Danger to you, danger of trouble, and of loss, and of 

Oh papa, why hav'n't you told me of all this before? " 

Mr. Harding was not the man to judge harshly of any one, 
much less of the daughter whom he now loved better than any 
living creature ; but still he did judge her wrongly at this 
moment. He knew that she loved John Bold ; he fully sympa- 
thised in her affection ; day after day he thought more of the 
matter, and, with the tender care of a loving father, tried to 
arrange in his own mind how matters might be so managed 
that his daughter's heart should not be made the sacrifice to 
the dispute which was likely to exist between him and Bold. 
Now, when she spoke to him for the first time on the subject, 
it was natural that he should think more of her than of him- 
self, and that he should imagine that her own cares, and not 
his, were troubling her. 

He stood silent before her awhile, as she gazed up into his 
face, and then kissing her forehead he placed her on the sofa. 

" Tell me, Nelly,'* he said (he only called her Nelly in his 
kindest, softest, sweetest moods, and yet all his moods were 
kind and sweet\ "tell me. Nelly, do you like Mr. Bold — 
much ? " 


She was quite taken aback by the question. I will not say 
that she had forgotten herself, and her own love in thinking 
about John Bold, and while conversing with Mary : she cer- 
tainly had not done so. She had been sick at heart to think, 
that a man of whom she could not but own to herself that she 
loved him, of whose regard she had been so proud, that such a 
man should turn against her father to ruin him. She had felt 
her vanity hurt, that his affection for her had not kept him 
from such a course ; had he really cared for her, he would not 
have risked her love by such an outrage ; but her main fear 
had been for her father, and when she spoke of danger, it was 
of danger to him and not to herself. 

She was taken aback by the question altogether : " Do I 
like him, papa ? " 

"Yes, Xelly, do you like him? Why shouldn't you like 
him? but that's a poor word — do you love him?" She sat 
still in his arms without answering him. She certainly had 
not prepared herself for an avowal of affection, intending, as 
she had done, to abuse John Bold herself, and to hear her 
father do so also. " Come, my love," said he, " let us make a 
clean breast of it : do you tell me what concerns yourself, and I 
will tell you what concerns me and the hospital." 

And then, without waiting for an answer, he described to 
her, as he best could, the accusation that was made about 
Hiram's will ; the claims which the old men put forward ; 
what he considered the strength and what the weakness of his 
own position ; the course which Bold had taken, and that 
which he presumed he was about to take ; and then by de- 
grees, without further question, he presumed on the fact of 
Eleanor's love, and spoke of that love as a feeling which he 
could in no way disapprove : he apologised for Bold, excused 
what he was doing ; nay, praised him for his energy and in- 
tentions : made much of his good qualities, and harped on none 

F 2 


of his foibles ; then, reminding his daughter how late it was, 
and comforting her with much assurance which he hardly 
felt himself, he sent her to her room, with flowing eyes and a 
full heart. 

When Mr. Harding met his daughter at breakfast the next 
morning, there was no further discussion on the matter, nor 
was the subject mentioned between them for some days. Soon 
after the party Mary Bold called at the hospital, but there were 
various persons in the drawing-room at the time, and she 
therefore said nothing about her brother. On the day follow- 
ing, John Bold met Miss Harding in one of the quiet sombre 
shaded walks of the close : he was most anxious to see her, 
but unwilling to call at the warden's house, and had in truth 
waylaid her in her private haunts. 

"My sister tells me," said he, abruptly hurrying on with 
his premeditated speech, "my sister tells me that you had a 
delightful party the other evening. I was so sorry I could 
not be there." 

" We were all sorry," said Eleanor, with dignified com- 

" I believe, Miss Harding, you understood why, at this mo- 
ment " And Bold hesitated, muttered, stopped, commenced 

his explanation again, and again broke down. 

Eleanor would not help him in the least. 

"I think my sister explained to you, Miss Harding?" 

" Pray don't apologise, Mr. Bold ; my father will, I am sure, 
always be glad to see you, if you like to come to the house now 
as formerly; nothing has occurred to alter his feelings; of your 
own views you are, of course, the best judge." 

" Your father is all that is kind and generous ; he always 

was so, but you. Miss Harding, yourself I hope you will 

not judge me harshly, because " 

" Mr. Bold," said she, " you may be sure of one thing ; I shall 


always judge my father to be right, and those wlio oppose him 
I shall judge to be wrong. If those who do not know him 
oppose him, I shall have charity enough to believe that they are 
wrong, through error of judgment ; but should I see him at- 
tacked by those who ought to know him, and to love him, and 
revere him, of such I shall be constrained to form a different 
opinion." And then curtseying low she sailed on, leaving her 
lover in anything but a happy state of mind. 

CHAP. yii. 


Though Eleanor Harding rode off from John Bold on a high 
horse, it must not be supposed that her heart was so elate as 
her demeanour. In the first place, she had a natural repug- 
nance to losing her lover ; and in the next, she was not quite 
BO sure that she was in the right as she pretended to be. Her 
father had told her, and that now repeatedly, that Bold was 
doing nothing unjust or ungenerous, and why then should she 
rebuke him, and throw him off, when she felt herself so ill 
able to bear his loss? — but such is human nature, and vouns;- 
lady-nature especially. As she walked off from him beneath 
the shady elms of the close, her look, her tone, every motion 
and gesture of her body, belied her heart ; she would have 
given the world to have taken him by the hand, to have rea- 
soned with him, persuaded him, cajoled him, coaxed him out 
of his project ; to have overcome him with all her female 
artillery, and to have redeemed her father at the cost of 
herself : but pride would not let her do this, and she left him 
without a look of love or a word of kindness. 

V 3 


Had Bold been judging of another lover and of another lady 
he might have understood all this as well as Tve do ; but in 
matters of love men do not see clearly in their own affairs. 
They say that faint heart never won fair lady; and it ia 
amazing to me how fair ladies are won, so faint are often men's 
hearts ! Were it not for the kindness of their nature, that 
seeing the weakness of our courage they will occasionally 
descend from their impregnable fortresses, and themselves aid 
us in effecting their own defeat, too often would they escape 
unconquered if not imscathed, and free of body if not of heart. 

Poor Bold crept off quite crest-fallen ; he felt that as re- 
garded Eleanor Harding his fate was sealed, unless he could 
consent to give up a task to which he had pledged himself, 
and which indeed it would not be easy for him to give up. 
Lawyers were engaged, and the question had to a certain 
extent been taken up by the public ; besides, how could a 
high-spirited girl like Eleanor Harding really learn to love a 
man for neglecting a duty which he assumed ! Could she 
allow her affection to be purchased at the cost of his own self- 
respect ? 

As regarded the issue of his attempt at reformation in the 
hospital, Bold had no reason hitherto to be discontented with 
his success. All Barchester was by the ears about it. The 
bishop, the archdeacon, the warden, the steward, and several 
other clerical allies, had daily meetings, discussing their tactics, 
and preparing for the great attack. Sir Abraham Haphazard 
had been consulted, but his opinion was not yet received: copies 
of Hiram's will, copies of warden's journals, copies of leases, 
copies of accounts, copies of everything that could be copied, 
and of some that could not, had been sent to him ; and the 
case was assuming most creditable dimensions. But above 
all, it had been mentioned in the daily Jupiter. That all- 
powerful organ of the press in one of its leading thunderbolts 


launched at St. Cross, had thus remarked : ' Another case, ot 
' smaller dimensions indeed, but of similar import, is now 

* likely to come under public notice. We are informed that the 

* warden or master of an old almshouse attached to Barchester 

* Cathedral is in receipt of twenty-five times the annual in- 

* come appointed for him by the will of the founder, while the 

* sum yearly expended on the absolute purposes of the charity 
' has always remained fixed. In other words, the legatees 
' under the founder's will have received no advantage from 
' the increase in the value of the property during the last four 

* centuries, such increase having been absorbed by the so- 
' called warden. It is impossible to conceive a case of greater 
'injustice. It is no answer to say that some six or nine or 
' twelve old men receive as much of the goods of this world as 

* such old men require. On what foundation, moral or divine, 
' traditional or legal, is grounded the warden's claim to the 
' large income he receives for doing nothing ? The content- 

* ment of these almsmen, if content they be, can give him no 

* title to this wealth ! Does he ever ask himself, when he 

* stretches wide his clerical palm to receive the pay of some 
' dozen of the working clergy, for what service he is so re- 

* munerated ? Does his conscience ever entertain the question 
^ of his right to such subsidies ? Or is it possible that the 
' subject never so presents itself to his mind ; that he has 

* received for many years, and intends, should God spare him, 

* to receive for years to come, these fruits of the industrious 
' piety of past ages, indifferent as to any right on his own part, 
' or of any injustice to others ! We must express an opinion 

* that nowhere but in the Church of England, and only there 

* among its priests, could such a state of moral indifference be 
' found.' 

I must for the present leave my readers to imagine the state 
of Mr. Harding's mind after reading the above article. They 

F 4 


say that forty thousand copies of the Jupiter are daily sold, 
and that each copy is read by five persons at the least. Two 
hundred thousand readers then would hear this accusation 
against him ; two hundred thousand hearts would swell with 
indignation at the griping injustice, the bare-faced robbery of 
the warden of Barchester Hospital 1 And how was he to answer 
this ? How was he to open his inmost heart to this multitude, 
to these thousands, the educated, the polished, the picked men 
of his own country; how show them that he was no robber, 
no avaricious lazy priest scrambling for gold, but a retiring 
humble-spirited man, who had innocently taken what had 
innocently been offered to him? 

" Write to the Jupiter," suggested tlie bishop. 

"Yes," said the archdeacon, more worldly wise than his 
father, " yes, and be smothered with ridicule ; tossed over and 
over again with scorn ; shaken this way and that, as a rat in 
the mouth of a practised terrier. You will leave out some 
word or letter in your answer, and the ignorance of the cathe- 
dral clergy will be harped upon ; you will make some small 
mistake, which will be a falsehood, or some admission, which 
will be self-condemnation ; you will find yourself to have 
been vulgar, ill-tempered, irreverend, and illiterate, and the 
chances are ten to one, but that being a clergyman you will 
have been guilty of blasphemy I A man may have the best of 
causes, the best of talents, and the best of tempers ; he may 
write as well as Addison, or as strongly as Junius ; but even 
with all this he cannot successfully answer, when attacked by 
the Jupiter. In such matters it is omnipotent. "What the 
Czar is in Russia, or the mob in America, that the Jupiter is 
in England. Answer such an article I No, warden ; what • 
ever you do, don't do that. We were to look for this sort of 
thing, you know ; but we need not draw down on our heads 
more of it than is necessary." 


The article in tlie Jupiter, while it so greatly harassed out 
poor warden, was an immense triumph to some of the opposite 
party. Sorry as Bold was to see Mr. Harding attacked so 
personally, it still gave him a feeling of elation to find his 
cause taken up by so powerful an advocate : and as to Finney, 
the attorney, he was beside himself. What ! to be engaged in 
the same cause and on the same side with the Jupiter ; to have 
the views he had recommended seconded, and furthered, and 
battled for by the Jupiter ! Perhaps to have his own name 
mentioned as that of the learned gentleman whose efforts had 
been so successful on behalf of the poor of Barchester ! He 
might be examined before committees of the House of Commons, 
with heaven knows how much a day for his personal expenses 
— he might be engaged for years on such a suit ! There was 
no end to the glorious golden dreams which this leader in the 
Jupiter produced in the soaring mind of Finney. 

And the old bedesmen, they also heard of this article, and 
had a glimmering, indistinct idea of the marvellous advocate 
which had now taken up their cause. Abel Handy limped 
hither and thither through the rooms, repeating all that he 
understood to have been printed, with some additions of his 
own which he thought should have been added. He told them 
how the Jupiter had declared that their warden was no better 
than a robber, and that what the Jupiter said was acknow- 
ledged by the world to be true. How the Jupiter had affirmed 
that each one of them — "each one of us, Jonathan Crumple, 
think of that," — had a clear right to a hundred a year; and 
that if the Jupiter had said so, it was better than a decision of 
the Lord Chancellor ; and then he carried about the paper, 
supplied by Mr. Finney, which, though none of them could 
read it, still afforded in its very touch and aspect positive 
corroboration of what was told them, and Jonatlian Crumple 
pondered deeply over his returning wealth; and Job Skulpit 


saw how right he had been in signing the petition, and said so 
many scores of times ; and Spriggs leered fearfully with his 
one eye ; and Moody, as he more nearly approached the coming 
golden age, hated more deeply than ever those who still kept 
possession of what he so coveted. Even Billy Gazy and poor 
bedridden Bell became active and uneasy, and the great Bunco 
stood apart with lowering brow, with deep grief seated in his 
heart, for he perceived that evil days were coming. 

It had been decided, the archdeacon advising, that no re- 
monstrance, explanation, or defence should be addressed from 
the Barchester conclave to the Editor of the Jupiter, but 
hitherto that was the only decision to which they had come. 

Sir Abraham Haphazard was deeply engaged in preparing 
a bill for the mortification of papists, to be called the " Con- 
vent Custody Bill," the purport of which was to enable any 
Protestant clergyman over fifty years of age to search any nun 
whom he suspected of being in possession of treasonable papers, 
or Jesuitical symbols : and as there were to be a hundred and 
thirty-seven clauses in the bill, each clause containing a sepa- 
rate thorn for the side of the papist, and as it was known 
the bill would be fought inch by inch, by fifty maddened 
Irishmen, the due construction and adequate dovetailing of it 
did consume much of Sir Abraham's time. The bill had all 
its desired effect. Of course it never passed into law ; but it 
so completely divided the ranks of the Irish members, who had 
bound themselves together to force on the ministry a bill for 
compelling all men to drink Irish whiskey, and all women to 
wear Irish poplins, that for the remainder of the session the 
Great Poplin and "Wliiskey League was utterly harmless. 

Thus it happened that Sir Abraham's opinion was not at 
once forthcoming, and the uncertainty, the expectation, and 
suffering of the folk of Barchester was maintained at a high 


CHAP. vin. 


The reader must now be requested to visit the rectory of 
Plumstead Episcopi ; and as it is as yet still early morning, to 
ascend again with us into the bed-room of the archdeacon. 
The mistress of the mansion was at her toilet ; on which we 
will not dwell with profane eyes, but proceed into a small 
inner room, where the doctor dressed and kept his boots and 
sermons ; and here we will take our stand, premising that the 
door of the room was so open as to admit of a conversation 
between our reverend Adam and his valued Eve. 

" It's all your own fault, archdeacon," said the latter ; " I 
told you from the beginning how it would end, and papa has 
no one to thank but you." 

" Good gracious, my dear," said the doctor, appearing at 
the door of his dressing-room, with his face and head enveloped 
in the rough towel which he was violently using ; " how can 
you say so ? I am doing my very best." 

" I wish you had never done so much," said the lady, in- 
terrupting him ; " if you 'd just have let John Bold come and 
go there, as he and papa liked, he and Eleanor would have 
been married by this time, and we should not have heard one 
word about all this affair." 

"But, my dear " 

'' Oh, it's all very well, archdeacon, and of course you 're 
right ; I don't for a moment think you '11 ever admit that you 
could be wrong ; but the fact is, you 've brought this young 
man down upon papa by huffing him as you have done." 

'' But, my love " 

" And all because you did n't like John Bold for a brother- 


in-law. How is she ever to do better ? papa has n't got a 
shilling ; and though Eleanor is well enough, she has not at 
all a taking style of beauty. I 'm sure I don't know how she's 
to do better than marry John Bold, or as well indeed," added 
the anxious sister, giving the last twist to her last shoe-string. 

Dr. Grantly felt keenly the injustice of this atlack; but 
what could he say ? He certainly had huffed John Bold ; he 
certainly had objected to him as a brother-in-law, and a very 
few months ago the very idea had excited his wrath : but now 
matters were changed ; John Bold had shown his power, and, 
though he was as odious as ever to the archdeacon, power is 
always respected, and the reverend dignitary began to think 
that such an alliance might not have been imprudent. Never- 
theless, his motto was still "no surrender;" he would still 
fight it out ; he still believed confidently in Oxford, in the 
bench of bishops, in Sir Abraham Haphazard, and in himself; 
and it was only when alone with his wife that doubts of defeat 
ever beset him. He once more tried to communicate this con- 
fidence to Mrs. Grantly, and for the twentieth time began to 
tell her of Sir Abraham. 

*' Oh, Sir Abraham ! " said she, collecting all her house keys 
into her basket before she descended ; " Sir Abraham won't 
get Eleanor a husband ; Sir Abraham won't get papa another 
income when he has been worreted out of the hospital. Mark 
what I tell you, archdeacon : while you and Sir Abraham are 
fighting, papa will lose his preferment ; and what will you do 
then with him and Eleanor on your hands ? besides, who 's to 
pay Sir Abraham ? I suppose he won't take the case up for 
nothing ? " And so the lady descended to family worship among 
her children and servants, the pattern of a good and prudent 

Dr. Grantly was blessed with a happy, thriving family. 
There were, first, three boys, now at home from school for the 


holidays. They were called, respectively, Charles James, 
Henry, and Samuel. The two younger (there were five in all) 
were girls ; the elder, Florinda, bore the name of the Arch- 
bishop of York's wife, whose godchild she was : and the 
younger had been christened Grizzel, after a sister of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. The boys were all clever, and 
gave good promise of being well able to meet the cares and 
trials of the world ; and yet they were not alike in their dis- 
positions, and each had his individual character, and each his 
separate admirers among the doctor's friends. 

Charles James was an exact and careful boy; he never com- 
mitted himself; he well knew how much was expected from 
the eldest son of the Archdeacon of Barchester, and was 
therefore mindful not to mix too freely with other boys. He 
had not the great talents of his younger brothers, but he 
exceeded them in judgment and propriety of demeanour ; his 
fault, if he had one, wa* an over-attention to words instead of 
things ; there was a thought too much finesse about him, and, 
as even his father sometimes told him, he was too fond of a 

The second was the archdeacon's favourite son, and Henry 
was indeed a brilliant boy. The versatility of his genius was 
surprising, and the visitors at Plumstead Episcopi were often 
amazed at the marvellous manner in which he would, when 
called on, adapt his capacity to apparently most uncongenial 
pursuits. He appeared once before a large circle as Luther 
the reformer, and delighted them with the perfect manner in 
which he assumed the character; and within three days he 
again astonished them by acting the part of a Capuchin friar 
to the very life. For this last exploit his father gave him a 
golden guinea, and his brothers said the reward had been 
promised beforehand in the event of the performance being 
successful. He was also sent on a tour into Devonshire ; a 


treat whicli the lad was most anxious of enjoying. His 
father's friends there, however, did not appreciate his talents, 
and sad accounts were sent home of the perversity of his 
nature. He was a most courageous lad, game to the backbone. 

It was soon known, both at home, where he lived, and 
within some miles of Barchester Cathedral, and also at West- 
minster, where he was at school, that young Henry could box 
well and would never own himself beat ; other boys would 
fight vrhile they had a leg to stand on, but he would fight 
with no leg at all. Those backing him would sometimes 
think him crushed by the weight of blows and faint with loss 
of blood, and his friends would endeavour to withdraw him 
from the contest; but no, Henry never gave in, was never 
weary of the battle. The ring was the only element in which 
he seemed to enjoy himself; and while other boys were happy 
in the number of their friends, he rejoiced most in the mul- 
titude of his foes. 

His relations could not but admire his pluck, but they 
sometimes were forced to regret that he was inclined to be a 
bully ; and those not so partial to him as his father was, ob- 
served with pain that, though he could fawn to the masters 
and the archdeacon's friends, he was imperious and masterful 
to the servants and the poor. 

But perhaps Samuel was the general favourite ; and dear 
little Soapy, as he was familiarly called, was as engaging a 
child as ever fond mother petted. He was soft and gentle in 
his manners, and attractive in his speech ; the tone of his 
voice was melody, and every action was a grace ; unlike his 
brothers, he was courteous to all, he was affable to the lowly, 
and meek even to the very scullery maid. He was a boy of 
great promise, minding his books and delighting the hearts of 
his masters. His brothers, however, were not particularly 
fond of him ; they would complain to their mother that 


Soapy's civility all meant something ; they thought that his 
voice was too often listened to at Plumstead Episcopi, and 
evidently feared that, as he grew up, he would have more 
weight in the house than either of them ; there was, therefore, 
a sort of agreement among them to put young Soapy down. 
This, however, was not so easy to be done ; Samuel, though 
young, was sharp ; he could not assume the stiff decorum of 
Charles James, nor could he fight like Henry; but he was a 
perfect master of his own weapons, and contrived, in the teeth 
of both of them, to hold the place which he had assumed. 
Henry declared that he was a false, cunning creature ; and 
Charles James, though he always spoke of him as his dear 
brother Samuel, was not slow to say a word against him when 
opportunity offered. To speak the truth, Samuel was a cun- 
ning boy, and those even who loved him best could not but 
own that for one so 5"oung, he was too adroit in choosing his 
words, and too skilled in modulating his voice. 

The two little girls Florinda and Grizzel were nice little 
girls enough, but they did not possess the strong sterling 
qualities of their brothers ; their voices were not often heard 
at Plumstead Episcopi ; they were bashful and timid by nature, 
slow to speak before company even when asked to do so ; and 
though they looked very nice in their clean white muslin 
frocks and pink sashes, they were but little noticed by the 
archdeacon's visitors. 

Whatever of submissive humility may have appeared in the 
gait and visage of the archdeacon during his colloquy with his 
wife in the sanctum of their dressing-rooms, was dispelled as 
he entered his breakfast-parlour with erect head and powerful 
step. In the presence of a third person he assumed the lord 
and master ; and that wise and talented lady too well knew 
the man to whom her lot for life was bound, to stretch her 
authority beyond the point at which it would be borne. 


Strangers at Plumstead Episcopi, when they saw the im- 
perious brow with which he commanded silence from the large 
circle of visitors, children, and servants who came together in 
the morning to hear him read the word of God, and watched 
how meekly that wife seated herself behind her basket of keys 
with a little girl on each side, as she caught that commanding 
glance ; strangers, I say, seeing this, could little guess that 
some fifteen minutes since she had stoutly held her ground 
against him, hardly allowing him to open his mouth in his 
own defence. But such is the tact and talent of women ! 

And now let us observe the well-furnished breakfast-parlour 
at Plumstead Episcopi, and the comfortable air of all the 
belongings of the rectory. Comfortable they certainly were, 
but neither gorgeous nor even grand ; indeed, considering the 
money that had been spent there, the eye and taste might have 
been better served ; there was an air of heaviness about the 
rooms whicb might have been avoided without any sacrifice 
of propriety ; colours might have been better chosen and lights 
more perfectly diffused : but perhaps in doing so the thorough 
clerical aspect of the whole might have been somewhat marred ; 
at any rate, it was not without ample consideration that those 
thick, dark, costly carpets were put down ; those embossed, 
but sombre papers hung up ; those heavy curtains draped so 
as to half-exclude the light of the sun : nor were these old- 
fashioned chairs, bought at a price far exceeding that now given 
for more modern goods, without a purpose. The breakfast- 
service on the table was equally costly and equally plain ; the 
apparent object had been to spend money without obtaining 
brilliancy or splendour. The urn was of thick and solid silver, 
as were also the tea-pot, coffee-pot, cream-ewer, and sugar-bowl; 
the cups were old, dim dragon china, worth about a pound a 
piece, but very despicable in the eyes of the uninitiated. The 
silver forks were so heavy as to be disagreeable to the hand, and 


the bread-basket was of a weight really formidable to any but 
robust persons. The tea consumed was the very best, the 
coffee the very blackest, the cream the very thickest ; there 
was dry toast and buttered toast, muffins and crumpets ; hot 
bread and cold bread, white bread and brown bread, home- 
made bread and bakers' bread, wheaten bread and oaten bread, 
and if there be other breads than these, they were there ; there 
were eggs in napkins, and crispy bits of bacon under silver 
covers ; and there were little fishes in a little box, and devilled 
kidneys frizzling on a hot-water dish ; which, by the bye, were 
placed closely contiguous to the plate of the worthy archdeacon 
himself. Over and above this, on a snow white napkin, spread 
upon the sideboard, was a huge ham and a huge sirloin ; the 
latter having laden the dinner table on the previous evening. 
Such was the ordinary fare at Plumstead Episcopi. 

And yet I have never found the rectory a pleasant house. 
The fact that man shall not live by bread alone seemed to be 
somewhat forgotten ; and noble as was the appearance of the 
host, and sweet and good-natured as was the face of the 
hostess, talented as were the children, and excellent as were 
the viands and the wines, in spite of these attractions, I 
generally found the rectory somewhat dull. After breakfast 
the archdeacon would retire, of course to his clerical pursuits. 
Mrs. Grantly, I presume, inspected her kitchen, though she 
had a first-rate housekeeper, with sixty pounds a year ; and 
attended to the lessons of Florinda and Grizzel, though she 
had an excellent governess with thirty pounds a year : but at 
any rate she disappeared : and I never could make companions 
of the boys. Charles James, though he always looked as 
though there was something in him, never seemed to have 
much to say ; and what he did say he would always unsay the 
next minute. He told me once, that he considered cricket, on 
the whole, to be a gentleman-like game for boys, provided 



they would play without running about ; and that fives, also, 
was a seemly game, so that those who played it never heated 
themselves. Henry once quarrelled with me for taking his 
sister Grizzel's part in a contest between them as to the best 
mode of using a watering-pot for the garden flowers ; and 
from that day to this he has not spoken to me, though he 
speaks at me often enough. For half an hour or so I certainly 
did like Sammy's gentle speeches ; but one gets tired of honey, 
and I found that he preferred the more admiring listeners 
whom he met in the kitchen-garden and back precincts of 
the establishment; besides, I think I once caught Sammy 

On the whole, therefore, I found the rectory a dull house, 
though it must be admitted that everything there was of the 
very best. 

After breakfast, on the morning of which we are writing, 
the archdeacon, as usual, retired to his study, intimating that 
he was going to be very busy, but that he would see Mr. 
Chadwick if he called. On entering this sacred room he 
carefully opened the paper case on which he was wont to com- 
pose his favourite sermons, and spread on it a fair sheet of 
paper, and one partly written on ; he then placed his inkstand, 
looked at his pen, and folded his blotting paper ; having done 
go, he got up again from his seat, stood with his back to the 
nre-place, and yawned comfortably, stretching out vastly his 
huge arms, and opening his burly chest. He then walked 
across the room and locked the door ; and having so prepared 
himself, he threw himself into his easy chair, took from a 
secret drawer beneath his table a volume of Rabelais, and 
began to amuse himself with the witty mischief of Panurge ; 
and so passed the archdeacon's morning on that day. 

He was left undisturbed at his studies for an hour or two, 
when a knock came to the door, and Mr. Chadwick was 


announced. Rabelais retired into the secret drawer, the easy 
chair seemed knowingly to betake itself off, and when the 
archdeacon quickly undid his bolt, he was discovered by the 
steward working, as usual, for that church of which he was so 
useful a pillar. Mr. Chadwick had just come from London, 
and was, therefore, known to be the bearer of important 

''We've got Sir Abraham's opinion at last," said Mr. Chad- 
wick, as he seated himself. 

" "Well, well, well ! " exclaimed the archdeacon impatiently. 

" Oh, it 's as long as my arm," said the other ; '' it can't be 
told in a word, but you can read it;" and he handed him a 
copy, in heaven knows how many spun-out folios, of the 
opinion which the attorney-general had managed to cram on 
the back and sides of the case as originally submitted to him. 

"The upshot is," said Chadwick, "that there's a screw 
loose in their case, and we had better do nothing. They are 
proceeding against Mr. Harding and myself, and Sir Abraham 
holds that, under the wording of the will, and subsequent 
arrangements legally sanctioned, Mr. Harding and I are only 
paid servants. The defendants should have been either the 
Corporation of Barchester, or possibly the chapter or your 

"W — hoo," said the archdeacon; "so Master Bold is on a 
wrong scent, is he?" 

" That's Sir Abraham's opinion; but any scent almost would 
be a wrong scent. Sir Abraham thinks that if they'd taken 
the corporation, or the chapter, we could have baflSed them. 
The bishop, he thinks, would be the surest shot; but even 
there we could plead that the bishop is only visitor, and that he 
has never made himself a consenting party to the performance 
of other duties." 

" That's quite clear," said the archdeacon. 


" Not quite so clear," said the other. " You see the will 
says, ' My lord, the bishop, being graciously pleased to see 
that due justice be done.' Now, it may be a question whether, 
in accepting and administering the patronage, your father has 
not accepted also the other daties assigned. It is doubtful, 
however; but eren if they hit that nail — and they are far off 
from that yet, — the point is so nice, as Sir Abraham says, 
that you would force them into fifteen thousand pounds' cost 
before they could bring it to an issue ! and where 's that sum of 
money to come from ? " 

The archdeacon rubbed his hands with delight; he had 
never doubted the justice of his case, but he had begun to 
have some dread of unjust success on the part of his enemies. 
It was delightful to him thus to hear that their cause was 
surrounded with such rocks and shoals; such causes of ship- 
wreck unseen by the landsman's eye, but visible enough to the 
keen eyes of practical law mariners. How wrong his wife 
was to wish that Bold should marry Eleanor! Bold! why, if 
he should be ass enough to persevere, he would be a beggar 
before he knew whom he was at law with! 

''That's excellent, Chadwick — that's excellent! I told you 
Sir Abraham was the man for us;" and he put down on the 
table the copy of the opinion, and patted it fondly. 

" Don't you let that be seen, though, archdeacon." 

'•'Who? — I! — not for worlds," said the doctor. 

" People will talk, you know, archdeacon." 

'•' Of course, of course," said the doctor. 

" Because, if that gets abroad, it would teach them how to 
fight their own battle." 

" Quite true," said the doctor. 

'•' No one here in Barchester ought to see that but you and I, 

" No, no, certainly no one else," said the archdeacon, 


pleased with the closeness of the confidence; "no one else 

" Mrs. Grantly is very interested in the matter, I know," 
said Mr. Chadwick. 

Did the archdeacon wink, or did he not ? I am inclined to 
think he did not quite wink ; but that without such, perhaps, 
unseemly gesture he communicated to Mr. Chadwick, with the 
corner of his eye, intimation that, deep as was Mrs. Grantly's 
interest in the matter, it should not procure for her a perusal 
of that document ; and at the same time he partly opened the 
small dray\'er, above spoken of, deposited the paper on the 
volume of Rabelais, and showed to Mr. Chadwick the nature of 
the key which guarded these hidden treasures. The careful 
steward then expressed himself contented. Ah ! vain man ! 
he could fasten up his Eabelais, and other things secret, Avith 
all the skill of Bramah or of Chubb ; but where could he fasten 
up the key which solved these mechanical mysteries ? It is 
probable to us that the contents of no drawer in that house 
were unknown to its mistress, and we think, moreover, that 
she was entitled to all such knowledge. 

" But," said Mr. Chadwick, " we must, of course, tell your 
father and Mr. Harding so much of Sir Abraham's opinion as 
will satisfy them that the matter is doing well." 

" Oh, certainly, — yes, of course," said the doctor. 

" You had better let them know that Sir Abraham is of 
opinion that there is no case at any rate against Mr. Harding : 
and that as the action is worded at present, it must fall to the 
ground ; they must be nonsuited if they carry it on ; you had 
better tell Mr. Harding, that Sir Abraham is clearly of opinion 
that he is only a servant, and as such, not liable — or if you 
like it, I '11 see Mr. Harding myself." 

" Oh, I must see him to-morrow, and my father too, and I '11 
explain to them exactly so much, — you won't go before lunch^ 

G 3 


Mr. Chadwick : well, if you will, you must, for I know your 
time is precious ; " and he shook hands with the diocesan 
steward, and bowed him out. 

And the archdeacon had again recourse to his drawer, and 
twice read through the essence of Sir Abraham Haphazard's 
law-enlightened and law-bewildered brains. It was very clear 
that to Sir Abraham, the justice of the old men's claim or the 
justice of Mr. Harding's defence were ideas that had never 
presented themselves. A legal victory over an opposing party 
was the service for which Sir Abraham was, as he imagined, 
to be paid ; and that he, according to his lights, had dihgently 
laboured to achieve, and with probable hope of success. Of 
the intense desire which Mr. Harding felt to be assured on fit 
authority, that he was wronging no man, that he was entitled 
in true equity to his income, that he might sleep at night 
without pangs of conscience, that he was no robber, no spoiler 
of the poor ; that he and all the world might be openly con- 
vinced that he was not the man which the Jupiter had de- 
scribed him to be ; of such longings on the part of Mr. Harding, 
Sir Abraham was entirely ignorant ; nor, indeed, could it be 
looked on as part of his business to gratify such desires. Such 
was not the system on which his battles were fought, and vic- 
tories gained. Success was his object, and he was generally 
successful. He conquered his enemies by their weakness 
rather than by his own strength, and it had been found almost 
impossible to make up a case, in which Sir Abraham, as an 
antasronist, would not find a flaw. 

The archdeacon was delighted with the closeness of the 
reasoning. To do him justice, it was not a selfish triumph 
that he desired ; he would personally lose nothing by defeat, 
or at least what he might lose did not actuate him ; but neither 
was it love of justice which made him so anxious, nor even 
mainly solicitude for Lis father-in-law. He vras fishtins a 


part of a never-ending battle against a never-conquered foe— 
that of the church against its enemies. 

He knew Mr. Harding could not pay all the expense of 
these doings ; for these long opinions of Sir Abraham's, these 
causes to be pleaded, these speeches to be made, these various 
courts through which the case was, he presumed, to be dragged. 
He knew that he and his father must at least bear the heavier 
portion of this tremendous cost; but to do the archdeacon 
justice, he did not recoil from this. He was a man fond of 
obtaining money, greedy of a large income, but open-handed 
enough in expending it, and it was a triumph to him to foresee 
the success of this measure, although he might be called on 
to pay so dearly for it himself. 



On the following morning the archdeacon was with his father 
betimes, and a note was sent down to the warden begging his 
attendance at the palace. Dr. Grantly, as he cogitated on the 
matter, leaning back in his brougham as he journeyed into 
Barchester, felt that it would be difficult to communicate his 
own satisfaction either to his father or his father-in-law. He 
wanted success on his own side and discomfiture on that of his 
enemies. The bishop wanted peace on the subject ; a settled 
peace if possible, but peace at any rate till the short remainder 
of his own days had spun itself out ; but ]\Ir. Harding required, 
not only success and peace, but he also demanded that he might 
stand justified before the world. 

G 4 


The bishop, however, was comparatively easy to deal with ; 
and before the arrival of the other, the dutiful son had per- 
suaded his father that all was going on well, and then the 
warden arrived. 

It was Mr. Harding's wont, whenever he spent a morning at 
the palace, to seat himself immediately at the bishop's elbow, 
the bishop occupying a huge arm-chair fitted up with candle- 
sticks, a reading table, a drawer, and other paraphernalia, the 
position of which chair was never moved, summer or winter ; 
and when, as was very usual, the archdeacon was there also, 
he confronted the two elders, who thus were enabled to fight 
the battle against him together ; and together submit to defeat, 
for such was their constant fate. 

Our warden now took his accustomed place, having greeted 
his son-in-law as he entered, and then affectionately inquired 
after his friend's health. There was a gentleness about the 
bishop to which the soft womanly aftection of Mr. Harding 
particularly endeared itself, and it was quaint to see how the 
two mild old priests pressed each other's hands, and smiled and 
made little signs of love. 

^' Sir Abraham's opinion has come at last," began the arch- 
deacon. Mr. Harding had heard so much, and was most 
anxious to know the result. 

" It is quite favourable," said the bishop, pressing his friend's 
arm. '* I am so glad." 

Mr. Harding looked at the mighty bearer of the important 
news for confirmation of these glad tidings. 

" Yes," said the archdeacon, " Sir Abraham has given most 
minute attention to the case; indeed, I knew he would; — 
most minute attention, and his opinion is — and as to his 
opinion on such a subject being correct, no one who knows Sir 
Abraham's character, can doubt — his opinion is, that they 
hav 'n't irot a les: to stand on." 


" But as how, arclideacon ? " 

" Why, in the first place : but you're no lawyer, warden, 

and I doubt you won't understand it ; the gist of the matter is 
this : — under Hiram's will two paid guardians have been 
selected for the hospital ; the law will say two paid servants, 
and you and I won't quarrel with the name." 

" At any rate I will not if I am one of the servants," said 
Mr. Harding. " A rose, you know ." 

" Yes, yes," said the archdeacon, impatient of poetry at such 
a time. " Well, two paid servants, we '11 say ; one to look after 
the men, and the other to look after the money. You and 
Chadwick are these two servants, and whether either of you 
be paid too much, or too little, more or less in fact than the 
founder willed, it 's as clear as daylight that no one can fall 
foul of either of you for receiving an allotted stipend." 

" That does seem clear," said the bishop, who had winced 
visibly under the words servants and stipend, which, however, 
aj^peared to have caused no uneasiness to the archdeacon. 

" Quite clear," said he, " and very satisfactory. In point of 
fact, it being necessary to select such servants for the use of 
the hospital, the pay to be given to them must depend on the 
rate of pay for such services, according to their market value 
at the period in question ; and those who manage the hospital 
must be the only judges of this." 

"And who does manage the hospital?" asked the warden. 

" Oh, let them find that out ; that 's another question ; the 
action is brought against you and Chadwick, and that 's your 
defence, and a perfect and full defence it is. Now that I think 
very satisfactory." 

"Well," said the bishop, looking inquiringly up into his 
friend's face, who sat silent awhile, and apparently not so well 

" And conclusive," continued the archdeacon ; " if they 


press it to a jury, which they won't do, no twelve men in 
England will take five minutes to decide a'2-ainst them." 

" But according to that," said Mr. Harding, " I might as 
well have sixteen hundred a year as eight, if the managers 
choose to allot it to me ; and as I am one of the managers, if 
not the chief manager, myself, that can hardly be a just 

" Oh, well, all that 's nothing to the question ; the question 
is, whether this intruding fellow, and a lot of cheating at- 
torneys and pestilent dissenters, are to interfere with an 
arrangement which every one knows is essentially just and 
serviceable to the church. Pray don't let us be splitting hairs, 
and that amongst ourselves, or there '11 never be an end of the 
cause or the cost." 

Mr. Harding again sat silent for awhile, during which the 
bishop once and again pressed his arm, and looked in his face 
to see if he could catch a gleam of a contented and eased mind ; 
but there was no such gleam, and the poor warden continued 
playing sad dirges on invisible stringed instruments in all 
manner of positions : he was ruminating in his mind on this 
opinion of Sir Abraham, looking to it wearily and earnestly 
for satisfaction, but finding none. At last he said, " Did you 
see the opinion, archdeacon r ''' 

The archdeacon said he had not — that was to saj', he had — 
that was, he had not seen the opinion itself ; he had seen what 
had been called a copy, but he could not say whether of a 
whole or part ; nor could he say that what he had seen were 
the ipsissima verba of the great man himself; but what he had 
seen contained exactly the decision which he had announced, 
and which he again declared to be to his mind extremely 

" I should like to see the opinion," said the warden ; " that 
is, a copy of it." 


Well, I suppose you can if you make a point of it ; but I 
don't see the use myself; of course it is essential that the 
purport of it should not be known, and it is therefore unadvis- 
able to multiply copies." 

" Why should it not be known ?" asked the warden. 

" What a question for a man to ask ! " said the archdeacon, 
throwing up his hands in token of his surprise ; " but it is like 
you — a child is not more innocent than you are in matters of 
business. Can't you see that if we tell them that no action 
will lie against you, but that one may possibly lie against some 
other person or persons, that we shall be putting weapons into 
their hands, and be teaching them how to cut our own throats ? " 

The warden again sat silent, and the bishop again looked at 
him wistfully : '• The only thing we have now to do," con- 
tinued the archdeacon, " is to remain quiet, hold our peace, and 
let them play their own game as they please." 

" We are not to make known then," said the warden, " that 
we have consulted the attorney-general, and that we are ad- 
vised by him that the founder's will is fully and fairly carried 

" God bless my soul I" said the archdeacon, ''how odd it is 
that you will not see that all we are to do is to do nothing : 
why should we say anything about the founder's will? We 
We in possession ; and we know that they are not in a position 
to put us out : surely that is enough for the present." 

Mr. Harding rose from his seat and paced thoughtfully up 
and down the library, the bishop the while watching him pain- 
fully at every turn, and the archdeacon continuing to pour 
forth his convictions that the affair was in a state to satisfy 
any prudent mind. 

"And the Jupiter?" said the warden, stopping suddenly. 

" Oh ! the Jupiter," answered the other. '' The Jupiter can 
break no bones. You must bear with that ; there is much 


of course ^hicli it is our bounden duty to bear ; it cannot be 
all roses for us here," and the archdeacon looked exceedingly 
moral ; " besides the matter is too trivial, of too little general 
interest to be mentioned again in the Jupiter, unless we stir up 
the subject:" and the archdeacon again looked exceedingly 
knowing and worldly wise. 

The warden continued his walk ; the hard and stinging 
words of that newspaper article, each one of which had thrust 
a thorn as it were into his inmost soul, were fresh in his 
memory : he had read it more than once, word by word, and 
what was worse, he fancied it was as well known to every one 
as to himself. Was he to be looked on as tlie unjust griping 
priest he had been there described? Was he to be pointed at 
as the consumer of the bread of the poor, and to be allowed no 
means of refuting such charges, of clearing his begrimed name, 
of standing innocent in the world, as hitherto he had stood ? 
Was he to bear all this, to receive as usual his now hated 
income, and be known as one of those greedy priests who by 
their rapacity have brought disgrace on their church ? and 
why ? Why should he bear all this ? why should he die, for 
he felt that he could not live, under such a weight of obloquy ? 
As he paced up and down the room he resolved in his misery 
and enthusiasm that he could witli pleasure, if he were allowed, 
give up his place, abandon his pleasant home, leave the 
hospital, and live poorly, happily, and Avith an unsullied name, 
on the small remainder of his means. 

He was a man somewhat shy of speaking of himself, even 
before those who knew him best, and whom he loved the most ; 
but at last it burst forth from him, and with a somewhat jerk- 
ing eloquence he declared that he could not, would not, bear 
this misery any longer. 

"If it can be proved," said he at last, "that I have a just 
and honest right to this, as God well knows I always deemed 
T had ; if tliis salary or stipend be really my due, I am not less 


anxious than anotlier to retain it. I have the well-being ot 
my child to look to. I am too old to miss without some pain 
the comforts to which I have been used ; and I am, as others 
are, anxious to prove to the world that I have been right, and 
to uphold the place I have held ; but I cannot do it at such a 
cost as this. I cannot bear this. Could you tell me to do 
so ?" and he appealed, almost in tears, to the bishop, who had 
left his chair, and was now leaning on the warden's arm as he 
stood on the further side of the table facing the archdeacon. 
"Could you tell me to sit there at ease, indifferent, and satis- 
fied, while such things as these are said loudly of me in the 

The bishop could feel for him and sympathise with him, but 
he could not advise him, he could only say, " No, no, you shall 
be asked to do nothing that is painful; you shall do just what 
your heart tells you to be right ; you shall do whatever you 
think best yourself. Theopliilus, don't advise him, pray don't 
advise the warden to do anything which is painful." 

But the archdeacon, though he could not sympathise, could 
advise ; and he saw that the time had come when it behoved 
him to do so in a somewhat peremptory manner. 

" Why, my lord," he said speaking to his father : and when 
he called his father ' my lord,' the good old bishop shook in 
his shoes, for he knew that an evil time was coming. " Why, 
my lord, there are two ways of giving advice ; there is advice 
that may be good for the present day ; and there is advice 
that may be good for days to come : now I cannot bring my- 
self to give the former, if it be incompatible with the other." 

" No, no, no, I suppose not," said the bishop, reseating him- 
self, and shading his face with his hands. Mr. Harding sat 
down with his back to the further wall, playing to himself 
some air fltted for so calamitous an occasion, and the arch- 
deacon said out his say standing, with his back to the empty 


" It is not to be supposed, but that much pain will spring 
out of this unnecessarily raised question. We must all have 
foreseen that, and the matter has in no wise gone on worse 
than we expected ; but it will be weak, yes, and wicked also, 
to abandon the cause and own ourselves wrong, because 
the inquiry is painful. It is not only ourselves we have to 
look to : to a certain extent the interest of the church is in 
our keeping. Should it be found that one after another of 
those who hold preferment abandoned it whenever it might be 
attacked, is it not plain that such attacks would be renewed 
till nothing was left us ? and, that if so deserted, the Church 
of England must fall to the ground altogether ? If this be 
true of many, it is true of one. Were you, accused as you 
now are, to throw up the wardenship, and to relinquish the 
preferment which is your property, with the vain object of 
proving yourself disinterested, you would fail in that object, 
you would inflict a desperate blow on your brother clergymen, 
you would encourage every cantankerous dissenter in Eng- 
land to make a similar charge against some source of clerical 
revenue, and you would do your best to dishearten those who 
are most anxious to defend you and uphold your position. I 
can fancy nothing more weak, or more wrong. It is not that 
you think that there is any justice in these charges, or that 
you doubt your own right to the wardenship : you are con- 
vinced of your own honesty, and yet would yield to them 
throusfh cowardice." 

" Cowardice ! " said the bishop, expostulating. Mr. Harding 
sat unmoved, gazing on his son-in-law. 

" Well, would it not be cowardice ? would he not do so 
because he is afraid to endure the evil things which will be 
falsely spoken of him ? Would that not be cowardice ? And 
now let us see the extent of the evil which you dread. The 
Jupiter publishes an article which a great many, no doubt, 


will read ; but of those who understand the subject how many 
will believe the Jupiter ? Every one knows what its object 
is ; it has taken up the case against Lord Guildford and 
against the Dean of Rochester, and that against half a dozen 
bishops ; and does not every one know that it would take up 
any case of the kind, right or wrong, false or true, with 
known justice or known injustice, if by doing so it could fur- 
ther its own views ? Does not all the world know this of the 
Jupiter ? Who that really knows you will think the worse of 
you for what the Jupiter says ? And why care for those who 
do not know you ? I will say nothing of your own comfort, 
but I do say that you could not be justified in throwing up, in 
a fit of passion, for such it would be, the only maintenance 
that Eleanor has ; and if you did so, if you really did vacate 
the wardenship, and submit to ruin, what would that profit 
you ? If you have no future right to the income, you have 
had no past right to it ; and the very fact of your abandoning 
your position, would create a demand for repayment of that 
which you have already received and spent." 

The poor warden groaned as he sat perfectly still, looking 
up at the hard-hearted orator who thus tormented him, and 
the bishop echoed the sound faintly from behind his hands ; 
but the archdeacon cared little for such signs of weakness, 
and completed his exhortation. 

"But let us suppose the ofiice to be left vacant, and that 
your own troubles concerning it were over; would that satisfy 
you? Are your only aspirations in the matter confined to 
yourself and family? I know they are not. I know you are 
as anxious as any of us for the church to which we belong ; 
and what a grievous blow would such an act of apostasy give 
her! You owe it to the church of which you are a member 
and a minister, to bear with this affliction, however severe it 
may be^r you owe it to ray father, who instituted you, to sup- 


port hifi rights : you owe it to those who preceded you to 
assert the legality of their position : you owe it to those who 
are to come after you, to maintain uninjured for them that 
which you received uninjured from others; and you OAve to us 
all the unflinching assistance of perfect brotherhood in this 
matter, so that upholding one another we may support our 
great cause without blushing and without disgrace." 

And so the archdeacon ceased, and stood self-satisfied, 
watching the effect of his spoken wisdom. 

The warden felt himself, to a certain extent, stifled ; he 
would have given the world to get himself out into the open 
air without speaking to, or noticing those who were in the 
room with him ; but this was impossible. He could not leave 
without saying something, and he felt himself confounded by 
the archdeacon's eloquence. There was a heavy, unfeeling, 
unanswerable truth in what he had said ; there was so much 
practical, but odious common sense in it, that he neither knew 
how to assent or to differ. If it were necessary for him to 
sufter, he felt that he could endure without complaint and 
without cowardice, providing that he was self-satisfied of the 
justice of his own cause. What he could not endure was, that 
he should be accused by others, and not acquitted by himself. 
Doubting, as he had begun to doubt, the justice of his own 
position in the hospital, he knew that his own self-confidence 
would not be restored because Mr. Bold had been in error as 
to some legal form ; nor could he be satisfied to escape, be- 
cause, through some legal fiction, he who received the greatest 
benefit from the hospital might be considered only as one of 
its servants. 

The archdeacon's speech had silenced him — stupefied him — 
annihilated him; anything but satisfied him. With the bishop 
it fared not much better. He did not discern clearly how 
things were, but he saw enough to know that a battle was to 


be prepared for; a battle that would destroy bis few remaiiiin<T 
comforts, and bring him witli so^ro^y to the grave. 

The warden still sat, and still looked at the archdeacon, till 
his thoughts fixed themselves wholly on the means of escape 
from his present position, and he felt like a bird fascinated by 
gazing on a snake. 

" I hope you agree with me," said the archdeacon at last, 
breaking the dread silence ; " my lord, I hope you agree with 

Oh what a sigh the bishop gave ! " My lord, I hope you 
agree with me," again repeated the merciless tyrant. 

'•' Yes, I suppose so," groaned the poor old man, slowly. 

"And you, warden?" 

Mr. Harding was now stirred to action — he must speak and 
move, so he got up and took one turn before he answered. 

" Do not press me for an answer just at present; I will do 
nothing lightly in the matter, and of whatever I do I will 
give you and the bishop notice." And so without another 
word he took his leave, escaping quickly through the palac« 
hall, and down the lofty steps, nor did he breathe freely till he 
found himself alone under the huge elms of the silent close. 
Here he walked long and slowly, thinking on his case with a 
troubled air, and trying in vain to confute the archdeacon's 
argument. He then went home, resolved to bear it all — igno- 
miny, suspense, disgrace, self-doubt, and heart-burning — and 
to do as those would have him, who he still believed were 
most fit and most able to counsel him aright. 




Mr. Harding was a sadder man than he had ever yet been 
when he returned to his own house. He had been wretched 
enough on that well-remembered morning when he was forced 
to expose before his son-in-law the publisher's account for 
ushering into ihe world his dear book of sacred music ; when 
after making such payments as he could do unassisted, he found 
that he was a debtor of more than three hundred pounds : but 
his sufferings then were as nothing to his present misery; — 
then he had done wrong, and he knew it, and was able to 
resolve that he would not sin in like manner again ; but now 
he could make no resolution, and comfort himself by no pro- 
mises of firmness. He had been forced to think that his lot 
had placed him in a false position, and he was about to main- 
tain that position against the opinion of the world and against 
his owh convictions. 

He had read with pity, amounting almost to horror, the 
strictures which had appeared from time to time against the 
Earl of Guildford as master of St. Cross, and the invectives 
that had been heaped on rich diocesan dignitaries and over- 
grown sinecure pluralists. In judging of them, he judged 
leniently ; the whole bias of his profession had taught him to 
think that they were more sinned against than sinning, and 
that the animosity with which they had been pursued was 
venomous and unjust; but he had not the less regarded their 
plight as most miserable. His hair had stood on end and his 
fiesh had crept as he read the things which had been written ; 
he had wondered how men could live under such a load of 


disgrace ; how they could face their fellow-creatures while 
their names were bandied about so injuriously and so publicly 
— and now this lot was to be his — he, that shy retiring man, 
who had so comforted himself in the hidden obscurity of his 
lot, who had so enjoyed the unassuming warmth of his own 
little corner, he was now to be drasrsred forth into the glarino- 
day, and gibbeted before ferocious multitudes. He entered his 
own house a crest-fallen, humiliated man, without a hope of 
overcoming the wretchedness which affected him. 

He w^andered into the drawing-room where wa j his daugh- 
ter ; but he could not speak to her now, so he left it, and went 
into the book-room. He was not quick encugh to escape 
Eleanor's glance, or to prevent her from see'.ng that he was 
disturbed ; and in a little while she followed him. She found 
him seated in his accustomed chair, vriih no book open before 
him, no pen ready in his hand, no ill-shapen notes of blotted 
music lying before him as was usual, none of those hospital 
accounts with which he was so precise and yet so unme- 
thodical : he was doing nothing, thinking of nothing, looking at 
nothing ; he was merely suffering. 

"Leave me, Eleanor, my dear," he said, "leave me, my 
darling, for a few minutes, for I am busy." 

Eleanor saw well how it was, but she did leave him, and 
glided silently back to her drawing-room. When he had sat 
awhile, thus alone and unoccupied, he got up to walk again — 
he could make more of his thoughts walking than sitting, and 
was creeping out into his garden, when he met Bunce on the 

" Well, Bunce," said he, in a tone, that for him was sharp, 
" what is it ? do you want me ?" 

•' I was only coming to ask after your reverence," said the 
old bedesman, touching his hat; *'and to inquire about the 
news from London," he added after a pause. 

n 2 


The "warden Tviuced, and put his hand to his forehead and 
felt bewildered. 

" Attorney Finnej has been there this morning," continued 
Bunce, " and by his looks I guess he is not so well pleased as 
he once was, and it has got abroad somehow that the arch- 
deacon has had down great news from London, and Handy and 
Moody are both as black as devils ; and I hope," said the man, 
trying to assume a cheery tone, " that things are looking up, 
and that there '11 be an end soon to all this stuff which bothers 
your reverence so sorely." 

" Well, I wish there may be, Bunce." 

" But about the news, your reverence?" said the old man, 
almost whispering. 

Mr. Harding walked on, and shook his head impatiently. 
Poor Bunce little knew how he was tormenting his patron. 

" If there was anything to cheer you, I should be so glad to 
know it," said he, with a tone of affection which the warden 
in all his misery could not resist. 

He stopped, and took both the old man's hands in his. " My 
friend," said he, " my dear old friend, there is nothing •. -there 
is no news to cheer me — God's vrill be done :" and two small 
hot tears broke away from his eyes and stole down his fur- 
rowed cheeks. 

" Then God's will be done," said the other solemnly, " but 
they told me that there was good news from London, and I 
came to wish your reverence joy ; but God's will be done ;" 
and so the warden again walked on, and the bedesman looking 
wistfully after him, and receiving no encouragement to follow, 
returned sadly to his own abode. 

For a couple of hours the warden remained thus in the 
garden, now walking, now standing motionless on the turf, and 
then, as his legs got weary, sitting unconsciously on the garden 
seats, and then walking again. And Eleanor, hidden behind 


the muslin curtains of the window^, ^^atched him through the 
trees as he now came in sight, and then again was concealed 
by the turnings of the walk ; and thus the time passed aAvay 
till five, when the warden crept back to the house and pre- 
pared for dinner. 

It was but a sorry meah The demure parlour-maid, as she 
handed the dishes and changed the plates, saw that all was nol 
rjo-ht, and was more demure than ever : neither father nor 
daughter could eat, and the hateful food was soon cleared 
away, and the bottle of port placed upon the table. 

"Would you like Bunco to come in, papa?" said Eleanor, 
thinking that the company of the old man might lighten his 

" No, my dear, thank you, not to-day ; but are not you 
going out, Eleanor, this lovely afternoon ? don't stay in for me, 
my dear." 

*' I thought you seemed so sad, papa." 

" Sad," said he irritated ; " well, people must all have their 
share of sadness here ; I am not more exempt than another : 
but kiss me, dearest, and go now ; I will, if possible, be more 
sociable when you return." 

And Eleanor was again banished from her father's sorrow. 
Ah ! her desire now was not to find him hapj^y, but to be 
allowed to share his sorrows ; not to force him to be sociable, 
but to persuade him to be trustful. 

She put on her bonnet as desired, and went up to Mary 
Bold ; this was now her daily haunt, for John Bold was up in 
London among lawyers and church reformers, diving deep into 
other questions than that of the wardenship of Barchester ; 
supplying information to one member of parliament, and dining 
with another ; subscribing to funds for the abolition of clerical 
incomes, and seconding at that great national meeting at the 
Crown and Anchor a resolutioi to the effect, that no clergy- 

H 3 


man of the Church of England, be he who he might, should 
have more than a thousand a year, and none less than two 
hundred and fifty. His speech on this occasion was short, for 
fifteen had to sj)eak, and the room was hired for two hours 
only, at the expiration of which the Quakers and Mr. Cobden 
were to make use of it for an appeal to the public in aid of the 
Emperor of Russia ; but it was sharp and effective : at least 
he was told so by a companion with whom he now lived much, 
and on whom he greatly depended — one Tom Towers, a very 
leading genius, and supposed to have high employment on the 
staff of the Jupiter. 

So Eleanor, as was now her wont, went up to Mary Bold, 
and Mary listened kindly, while the daughter spoke much of 
her father, and, perhaps kinder still, found a listener in 
Eleanor, while she spoke about her brother. In the meantime 
the warden sat alone, leaning on the arm of his chair ; he had 
poured out a glass of wine, but had done so merely from habit, 
for he left it untouched : there he sat gazing at the open 
window, and thinking, if he can be said to have thought, of 
the happiness of his past life. All manner of past delights 
came before his mind, which at the time he had enjoyed with- 
out considering them ; his easy days, his absence of all kind 
of hard work, his pleasant shady home, those twelve old 
neighbours whose welfare till now had been the source of so 
much pleasant care, the excellence of his children, the friend- 
ship of the dear old bishop, the solemn grandeur of those 
vaulted aisles, through which he loved to hear his own voice 
pealing ; and then that friend of friends, that choice ally that 
had never deserted him, that eloquent companion that would 
always, when asked, discourse such pleasant music, that 
violoncello of his — ah, how happy he had been ! but it was 
over now ; his easy days and absence of work had been the 
crime which brought on him his tribulation ; his shady home 


was pleasant no longer ; may be it was no longer bis ; the old 
neighbours, whose welfare had been so desired bj him, were 
his enemies ; his daughter was as wretched as himself, and 
even the bishop was made miserable by his position. He 
could never again lift up his voice boldly as he had hitherto 
done among his brethren, for he felt that he was disgraced ; 
and he feared even to touch his bow, for he knew how grievous 
a sound of wailing, how piteous a lamentation, it would 

He was still sitting in the same chair and the same posture, 
having hardly moved a limb for two hours, when Eleanor 
came back to tea, and succeeded in bringing him with her into 
the drawing-room. 

The tea seemed as comfortless as the dinner, though the 
warden, who had hitherto eaten nothing all day, devoured the 
plateful of bread and butter, unconscious of what he was doing. 

Eleanor had made up her mind to force him to talk to her, 
but she hardly knew how to commence : she must wait till the 
urn was gone, till the servant would no longer be coming in 
and out. 

At last everything was gone, and the drawing-room door 
was permanently closed ; then Eleanor, getting up and going 
round to her father, put her arm round his neck, and said, 
"Papa, won't you tell me what it is ?" 

"What what is, my dear?" 

*' This new sorrow that torments you ; I know you are un- 
happy, papa." 

" New sorrow ! it's no new sorrow, my dear, we have all 
our cares sometimes," and he tried to smile, but it was a 
ghastly failure ; " but I should n't be so dull a companion ; 
come, we '11 have some music." 

"No, papa, not to-night — it would only trouble you to- 
night :" and she sat upon his knee, as she sometimes would in 

H 4 


their gayest moods, and with her arm round his neck, she said, 
" Papa, I will not leave you till you talk to me ; oh, if you 
only knew how much good it would do to you, to tell me of it all." 

The father kissed his daughter, and pressed her to his 
heart ; but still he said nothing : it was so hard to hirn to speak 
of his own sorrows ; he was so shy a man even with his own 

" Oh, papa, do tell me what it is ; I know it is about the 
hospital, and what they are doing up in London, and what that 
cruel newspaper has said ; but if there be such cause for sorrow, 
let us be sorrowful together ; we are all in all to each other 
now : dear, dear papa, do speak to me." 

Mr. Harding could not well speak now, for the warm tears 
were running down his cheeks like rain in May, but he held 
his child close to his heart, and squeezed her hand as a lover 
might, and she kissed his forehead and his wet cheeks, and lay 
upon his bosom, and comforted him as a woman only can do. 

" My own child," he said, as soon as his tears would let him 
speak ; " my own, own child, why should you too be unhappy 
before it is necessary : it may come to that, that we must leave 
this place, but till that time comes, why should your young 
days be clouded ?" 

" And is that all, papa ? If that be all, let us leave it, 
and have light hearts elsewhere : if that be all, let us go. Oh, 
papa, you and I could be happy if we had only bread to eat, 
so long as our hearts were light." 

And Eleanor's face was lighted up w4th enthusiasm as she 
told her father how he might banish all his care ; and a gleam 
of joy shot across his brow as this idea of escape again pre- 
sented itself, and he again fancied for a moment that he could 
spurn away from him the income which the world envied him ; 
that he could give the lie to that wielder of the tomahawk who 
had dared to write such things of him in the Jupiter. That 


he could leave Sir Abraham, and the archdeacon, and Bold, 
and the rest of them with their lawsuit among them, and wipe 
his hands alto^rether of so sorrow-stirrinsr a concern. Ah. 
what happiness might there be in the distance, with Eleanor 
and him in some small cottage, and nothing left of their former 
grandeur but their music ! Yes, they would walk forth with 
their music books, and their instruments, and shaking the dust 
from off their feet as they went, leave the ungrateful place. 
Never did a poor clergyman sigh for a warm benefice more 
anxiously than our warden did now to be rid of his. 

*' Give it up, papa," she said again, jumping from his knees 
and standing on her feet before him, looking boldly into his 
face ; " give it up, papa." 

Oh, it was sad to see how that momentary gleam of joy 
passed away ; how the look of hope was dispersed from that 
sorrowful face, as the remembrance of the archdeacon came 
back upon our poor warden, and he reflected that he could not 
stir from his now hated post. He was as a man bound with 
iron, fettered with adamant : he was in no respect a free agent ; 
he had no choice. " Give it up ! " oh if he only could : what 
an easy way that were out of all his troubles ! 

" Papa, don't doubt about it," she continued, thinking that 
his hesitation arose from his unwillingness to abandon so com- 
fortable a home ; " is it on my account that you would stay 
here ? Do you think that I cannot be happy without a pony- 
carriage and a fine drawing-room ? Papa, I never can be 
happy here, as long as there is a question as to your honour 
in staying here ; but I could be gay as the day is long in the 
smallest tiny little cottage, if I could see you come in and go 
out with a light heart. Oh ! papa, your face tells so much ; 
though you won't speak to me with your voice, I know how it 
is with you every time I look at you." 

How he pressed her to his heart again with almost a spas- 


inodic pressure ! how he kissed her as the tears fell like rain 
from his old eyes ! how he blessed her, and called her by a 
hundred soft sweet names which now came new to his lips ! 
how he chid himself for ever having been unhappy with such 
a treasure in his house, such a jewel on his bosom, with so 
sweet a flower in the choice garden of his heart ! and then the 
flood-gates of his tongue were loosed, and, at length, with un- 
sparing detail of circumstances, he told her all that he wished, 
and all that he could not do. He repeated those arguments of 
the archdeacon, not agreeing in their truth, but explaining his 
inability to escape from them ; how it had been declared to 
him that he was bound to remain where he was by the interests 
of his order, by gratitude to the bishop, by the wishes of his 
friends, by a sense of duty, which, though he could not under- 
stand it, he was fain to acknowledge. He told her how he had 
been accused of cowardice, and though he was not a man to 
make much of such a charge before the world, now in the full 
candour of his heart, he explained to her that such an accusa- 
tion was grievous to him ; that he did think it would be un- 
manly to desert his post, merely to escape his present sufferings, 
and that, therefore, he must bear as best he might the misery 
which was prepared for him. 

And did she find these details tedious ? Oh, no — she en- 
couraged him to dilate on every feeling he expressed, till he 
laid bare the inmost corners of his heart to her. They spoke 
together of the archdeacon, as two children might of a stern, 
unpopular, but still respected schoolmaster, and of the bishop 
as a parent kind as kind could be, but powerless against an 
omnipotent pedagogue. 

And then, when they had discussed all this, when the father 
had told all to the child, she could not be less confiding than 
he had been ; and as John Bold's name was mentioned between 
them, she owned how well she had learned to love him,— 

IPllIGENIA. 107 

" had loved him once," she said, " but she would not, could not 
do so now — no, even had her troth been plighted to him, she 
would have taken it back again — had she sworn to love him 
as his wife, she would have discarded him, and not felt herself 
forsworn, when he proved himself the enemy of her father." 

But the warden declared that Bold was no enemy of his, 
and encouraged her love ; and gently rebuked, as he kissed 
her, the stern resolve she had made to cast him off ; and then 
he spoke to her of happier days when their trials would all be 
over ; and declared that her young heart should not be torn 
asunder to please either priest or prelate, dean or archdeacon. 
No, not if all Oxford were to convocate together, and agree as 
to the necessity of the sacrifice. 

And so they greatly comforted each other — and in what 
sorrow will not such mutual confidence give consolation! — 
and with a last expression of tender love they parted, and 
went comparatively happy to their rooms. 



When Eleanor laid her head on her pillow that night, her 
mind was anxiously intent on some plan by which she might 
extricate her father from his misery; and, in her warm-hearted 
enthusiasm, self-sacrifice was decided on as the means to be 
adopted. Was not so good an Agamemnon worthy of an 
Iphigenia ? She would herself personally implore John Bold 
to desist from his undertaking ; she would explain to him her 
father's sorrows, the cruel misery of his position ; she would 


tell him l)ow her father would die if he were thus dragged 
befoi ■-- tiis:^ public and exposed to such unmerited ignominy ; 
she "V ■ iild appeal to his old friendship, to his generosity, to 
his ninnliness, to his mercy: if need were, she would kneel to 
him t . )r the favour she would ask ; but before she did this, 
the i lea of love must be banished. There must be no barg-ain 
in. the matter. To his mercy, to his generosity, slie could 
appeal ; but as a pure maiden, hitherto even unsolicited, she 
could not appeal to his love, nor under such circumstances 
could she allow him to do so. Of course when so provoked, 
he would declare his passion ; that was to be expected ; there 
had been enough between them to make such a fact sure ; but 
it was equally certain that he must be rejected. She could 
not be understood as saying. Make my father free and I am 
the reward. There would be no sacrifice in that — not so had 
Jephthah's daughter saved her father — not so could she show 
to th;it kindest, dearest of parents how much she was able to 
bear for his good. No ; to one resolve must her whole soul 
be bound ; and so resolving, she felt that she could make her 
great request to Bold with a5 much self-assured confidence as 
she could have done to his grandfather. 

And now I own I have fears for my heroine : not as to the 
upsliot of her mission — not in the least as to that ; as to the 
full success of her generous scheme, and the ultimate result 
of such a project, no one conversant with human nature and 
novels can have a doubt ; but as to the amount of sympathy 
she may receive from those of her own sex. Girls below 
twenty and old ladies above sixty will do her justice ; for in 
the female heart the soft springs of sweet romance reopen 
after many years, and again gush out with waters pure as in 
earlier days, and greatly refresh the path that leads downwards 
to the grave. But I fear that the majority of those between 
these two eras will not approve of Eleanor's plan. I fear that 

irniGEXiA. 109 

anmairied ladies of thirty-five will declare that there can he 
no probability of so absurd a project being carried through ; 
that young women on their knees before their lovers are sure 
to get kissed, and that they would not put themselves in such 
a position did they not expect it ; that Eleanor is going to 
Bold, only because circumstances prevent Bold from coming 
to her ; that she is certainly a little fool, or a little schemer, 
but that in all probability she is thinking a good deal more 
about herself than her father. 

Dear ladies, you are right as to your appreciation of the 
circumstances, but very wrong as to Miss Harding's character. 
Miss Harding was much younger than you are, and could not, 
therefore, know, as you may do, to what dangers such an 
encounter might expose her. She may get kissed ; I think 
it very probable that she will ; but I give my solemn word 
and positive assurance, that the remotest idea of such a 
catastrophe never occurred to her, as she made the great 
resolve now alluded to. 

And then she slept ; and then she rose refreshed, and met 
her father with her kindest embrace and most loving smiles ; 
and on the whole their breakfast was by no means so triste as 
had been their dinner the day before ; and then, making some 
excuse to her father for so soon leaving him, she started on 
the commencement of her operations. 

She knew that John Bold was in London, and that, there- 
fore, the scene itself could not be enacted to-day ; but she also 
knew that he was soon to be home, probably on the next day, 
and it was necessary that some little plan for meeting him 
should be concerted with his sister Mary. When she got up 
to the house, she went as usual into the morning sitting-room, 
and was startled by perceiving, by a stick, a great coat, and 
sundry parcels which were lying about, that Bold must already 
have returned. 


" Jolin has come back so suddenlv," said Mary, coming into 
the room ; " he has been travelling all night." 

'•'Then I'll come up again some other time," said Eleanor, 
about to beat a retreat in her sudden dismay. 

"He's out noTT, and will be for the next two hours," said 
the other; ''he's -with that horrid Finney; he only came to 
see him, and he returns by the mail train to-night." 

Returns by the mail train to-night, thought Eleanor to 
herself, as she strove to screw up her courage — away again 
to-night — then it must be now or never ; and she again sat 
down, having risen to go. 

She wished the ordeal could have been postponed: she had 
fully made up her mind to do the deed, but she had not made 
up her mind to do it this very day ; and now she felt ill at ease, 
astray, and in difficulty. 

'• Mary," she began, " I must see your brother before he 
goes back." 

" Oh yes, of course,'' said the other ; " I know he '11 be de- 
lighted to see you;" and she tried to treat it as a matter of 
course, but she was not the less surprised; for Mary and 
Eleanor had daily talked over John Bold and his conduct, and 
his love, and Mary would insist on calling Eleanor her sister, 
and would scold her for not calling Bold by his Christian 
name ; and Eleanor would half confess her love, but like a 
modest maiden would protest against such familiarities even 
with the name of her lover : and so they talked hour after hour, 
and Mary Bold, who was much the elder, looked forward with 
happy confidence to the day when Eleanor would not be ashamed 
to call her her sister. She was, however, fully sure that just 
at present Eleanor would be much more likely to avoid her 
brother than to seek him. 

*•' Mary, I must see your brother, now, to-day, and beg from 
him a great favour ;" and she spoke with a solemn air, not at 


all usual to her ; and then she went on, and opened to her friend 
all her plan, her well-weighed scheme for saving her father 
from a sorrow which would, she said, if it lasted, bring him to 
his grave. " But Mary," she continued, " you must now, you 
know, cease any joking about me and Mr. Bold ; you must 
now say no more about that ; I am not ashamed to beg this 
favour from your brother, but when I have done sOj there can 
never be anything further between us ;" and this she said with 
a staid and solemn air, quite worthy of Jephthah's daughter or 
of Iphigenia either. 

It was quite clear that Mary Bold did not follow the arsfu- 
ment : that Eleanor Harding should appeal, on behalf of her 
father, to Bold's better feelings, seemed to Mary quite natural; 
it seemed quite natural that he should relent, overcome by 
such filial tears, and by so much beauty; but, to her thinking, 
it was at any rate equally natural, that having relented, John 
should put his arm round his mistress's waist, and say, ' Now 
having settled that, let us be man and wife, and all will end 
happily !' Why his good nature should not be rewarded, when 
such reward would operate to the disadvantage of none, Mary, 
who had more sense than romance, could not understand ; and 
she said as much. 

Eleanor, however, was firm, and made quite an eloquent 
speech to support her own view of the question : she could not 
condescend, she said, to ask such a favour on any other 
terms than those proposed. Mary might, perhaps, think her 
high-flown, but she had her own ideas, and she could not sub- 
mit to sacrifice her self-respect. 

"But I am sure you love him, — don't you?" pleaded 
Mary, " and I am sure he loves you better than anything in the 

Eleanor was going to make another speech, but a tear came 
to each eye, and she could not ; so she pretended to blow her 


nose, and walked to the window, and made a little inward call 
on her own courage, and finding herself somewhat sustained, 
said sententiouslj, — " Mary, this is nonsense." 

"But you do love him," said Mary, who had followed her 
friend to the window, and now spoke with her arms close wound 
round the other's waist. " You do love him with all your 
heart, — you know you do ; I defy you to deny it." 

" I — " commenced Eleanor, turning sharply round to refute 
the charge ; but the intended falsehood stuck in her throat, and 
never came to utterance. She could not deny her love, so she 
took plentifully to tears, and leant upon her friend's bosom and 
sobbed there, and protested that, love or no love, it would 
make no difference in her resolve, and called Mary, a thousand 
times, the most cruel of girls, and swore her to secrecy by a 
hundred oaths, and ended by declaring that the girl who could 
betray her friend's love, even to a brother, would be as black 
a traitor as a soldier in a garrison who should open the city 
gates to the enemy. While they were yet discussing the mat- 
ter. Bold returned, and Eleanor was forced into sudden action: 
she had either to accomplish or abandon her plan ; and having 
slipped into her friend's bedroom, as the gentleman closed the 
hall door, she washed the marks of tears from her eyes, and 
resolved within herself to go through with it. " Tell him I 
am here," said she, " and coming in ; and mind, whatever you 
do, don't leave us." So Mary informed her brother, with a 
somewhat sombre air, that Miss Harding was in the next room, 
and was coming to speak to him. 

Eleanor was certainly thinking more of her father than her- 
self, as she arranged her hair before the glass, and removed the 
traces of sorrow from her face, and yet I should be untrue if 
I said that she was not anxious to appear well before her lover: 
why else was she so sedulous with that stubborn curl that 
would rebel against her hand, and smooth so eagerly her ruffled 


ribands? why else did she damp her eyes to dispel the redness, 
and bite her pretty lips to bring back the colour? Of course 
she was anxious to look her best, for she was but a mortal 
angel after all. But had she been immortal, had she flitted 
back to the sitting-room on a cherub's wings, she could not 
have had a more faithful heart, or a truer wish to save her 
father at any cost to herself. 

John Bold had not met her since the day when she left him 
in dudgeon in the cathedral close. Since that his whole time 
had been occupied in promoting the cause against her father, 
and not unsuccessfully. He had often thought of her, and 
turned over in his mind a hundred schemes for showing her 
how disinterested was his love. He would write to her and 
beseech her not to allow the performance of a public duty to 
injure him in her estimation ; he would write to Mr. Harding, 
explain all his views, and boldly claim the warden's daughter, 
urging that the untoward circumstances between them need 
be no bar to their ancient friendship, or to a closer tie ; he 
would throw himself on his knees before his mistress ; he 
would wait and marry the daughter when the father had lost 
his home and his income ; he would give up the lawsuit and go 
to Australia, with her of course, leaving the Jupiter and Mr. 
Finney to complete the case between them. Sometimes as he 
woke in the morning fevered and impatient, he would blow 
out his brains and have done with all his cares — but this 
idea was generally consequent on an imprudent supper enjoyed 
in company with Tom Towers. 

How beautiful Eleanor appeared to him as she slowly walked 
into the room ! Not for nothing had all those little cares been 
taken. Though her sister, the archdeacon's wife, had spoken 
slightingly of her charms, Eleanor was very beautiful when 
seen aright. Hers was not of those impassive faces, which 
have the beauty of a marble bust ; finely chiselled features, 


1 1 i THE WARDEN. 

perfect in every line, true to the rules of symmetry, as lovely 
to a stranger as to a friend, unvarying unless in sickness, or as 
age affects them. She had no startling brilliancy of beauty, 
no pearly whiteness, no radiant carnation : she had not the 
majestic contour that rivets attention, demands instant wonder, 
and then disappoints by the coldness of its charms. You 
might pass Eleanor Harding in the street without notice, 
but you could hardly pass an evening with her and not lose 
your heart. 

She had never appeared more lovely to her lover than she 
now did. Her face was animated though it was serious, and 
her full dark lustrous eyes shone with anxious energy; her 
hand trembled as she took his, and she could hardly pronounce 
his name, when she addressed him. Bold wished with all his 
heart that the Australian scheme was in the act of realisation, 
and that he and Eleanor were away together, never to hear 
further of the lawsuit. 

He began to talk, asked after her health — said something 
about London being very stupid, and more about Barchester 
being very pleasant : declared the weather to be very hot, and 
then inquired after Mr. Harding. 

'•' My father is not very well," said Eleanor. 

John Bold was very sorry, so sorry: he hoped it was nothing 
serious, and put on the unmeaningly solemn face, which people 
usually use on such occasions. 

" I especially want to speak to you about my father, Mr. 
Bold ; indeed, I am now here on purpose to do so. Papa is 
very unhappy, very unhappy indeed, about this affair of the 
hospital : you would pity him, Mr. Bold, if you could see how 
wretched it has made him." 

" Oh Miss Harding!" 

" Indeed you would, — any one would pity him t but a friend, 
an old friend as you are — indeed you would. He is an altered 


man ; liis cheerfulness lias all gone, and his sweet temper, and 
his kind happy tone of voice ; you would hardly know him if 
you saw him, Mr. Bold, he is so much altered; and — and — if 
this goes on, he will die." Here Eleanor had recourse to her 
handkerchief, and so also had her auditors ; but she plucked 
up her courage, and went on with her tale. "He will break 
his heart, and die. I am sure, Mr. Bold, it was not you who 
wrote those cruel things in the newspaper " 

John Bold eagerly protested that it was not, but his heart 
smote him as to his intimate alliance with Tom Towers. 

" No, I am sure it was not ; and papa has not for a moment 
thought so ; you would not be so cruel — but it has nearly 
killed him. Papa cannot bear to think that people should so 
speak of him, and that every body should hear him so spoken 
of : — they have called him avaricious, and dishonest, and they 
say he is robbing the old men, and taking the money of the 
hospital for nothing." 

" I have never said so. Miss Harding. I " 

" No," continued Eleanor, interrupting him, for she was now 
in the full flood tide of her eloquence ; " no, I am sure you 
have not, but others have said so ; and if this goes on, if such 
things are written again, it will kill papa. Oh ! Mr. Bold, if 
you only knew the state he is in ! Now papa does not care 
much about money." 

Both her auditors, brother and sister, assented to this, and 
declared on their own knowledge that no man lived less 
addicted to filthy lucre than the warden. 

" Oh ! it 's so kind of you to say so, Mary, and of you too, 
Mr. Bold. I could n't bear that people should think un- 
justly of papa. Do you know he would give up the hospital 
altogether, only he cannot. The archdeacon says it would 
be cowardly, and that he would be deserting his order, and 
injuring the church. Whatever may happen, papa will not 

I 2 


^lo that : he would leave tlie place to-morrow willingly, and 
give up his house, and the income and all, if the archdeacon 

" Eleanor Wxis going to say "would let him," but she 

stopped herself before she had compromised her father's 
dignity; and giving a long sigh, she added — "Oh, I do so 
wish he would.'' 

" Xo one who knows Mr. Harding personally, accuses him 
for a moment," said Bold. 

" It is he that has to bear the punishment ; it is he that 
suffers," said Eleanor ; " and what for ? what has he done 
wrong? how has he deserved this persecution? he that never 
had an unkind thought in his life, he that never said an 
unkind word ! " and here she broke down, and the violence of 
her sobs stopped her utterance. 

Bold, for the fifth or sixth time, declared that neither he 
nor any of his friends imputed any blame personally to Mr. 

"Then why should he be persecuted?" ejaculated Eleanor 
through her tears, forgetting in her eagerness that her inten- 
tion had been to humble herself as a suppliant before John 
Bold — "why should he be singled out for scorn and disgrace? 
why should he be made so wretched? Oh ! Mr. Bold," — and 
she turned towards him as though the kneeling scene were 
about to be commenced — " oh ! Mr. Bold, why did you begin 
all this? you whom we all so — so — valued ! " 

To speak the truth, the reformer's punishment was certainly 
come upon him, for his present plight was not enviable ; he 
had nothing for it but to excuse himself by platitudes about 
public duty, which it is by no means worth while to repeat, 
and to reiterate his eulogy on Mr. Harding's character. His 
position was certainly a cruel one : had any gentlemen called 
upon him on behalf of Mr. Harding he could of course have 
declined to enter upon the subject ; but how could he do so 


with a beautiful girl, with the daughter of the man whom he 
had injured, with his own love ? 

In the meantime Eleanor recollected herself, and again 
summoned up her energies. 

" Mr. Bold,"' said she, " I have come here to implore you to 
abandon this proceeding." 

He stood up from his seat, and looked beyond measure 

" To implore you to abandon it, to implore you to spare my 
father, to spare either his life or his reason, for one or the 
other will pay the forfeit if this goes on. I know how much 
I am asking, and how little right I have to ask anything ; but 
I think you will listen to me as it is for my father. Oh, Mr. 
Bold, pray, pray do this for us — pray do not drive to distrac- 
tion a man who has loved you so well.*' 

She did not absolutely kneel to him, but she followed him as 
he moved from his chair, and laid her soft hands imploringly 
upon his arm. Ah ! at any other time how exquisitely 
valuable would have been that touch ! but now he was dis- 
traught, dumb-founded, and unmanned. What could he say 
to that sweet suppliant ; how explain to her that the matter 
now was probably beyond his control ; how tell her that he 
could not quell the storm which he had raised ? 

" Surely, surely, John, you cannot refuse her," said his 

" I would give her my soul," said he, '•' if it would serve her." 

" Oh, Mr. Bold," said Eleanor, " do not speak so ; I ask 
nothing for myself; and what I ask for my father, it cannot 
harm you to grant." 

" I would give her my soul, if it would serve her," said 
Bold, still addressing his sister ; " everything I have is hers, 
if she will accept it ; my house, my heart, my all ; every hope 
of my breast is centred in her : her smiles are sweeter to me 

I 3 

118 THE V.'AEDEX. 

than the sun, and •when I see her in sorrow as she now is, 
every nerve in my body suffers. No man can love better tlian 
I love her." 

"Xo, no, no," ejaculated Eleanor, *' there can be no talk of 
love between us ; will you protect my father from the evil you 
have brought upon him?" 

'•' Ob, Eleanor, I will do anything ; let me tell you how I 
love you I " 

'•' No, no, no," she almost screamed ; " this is unmanly of 
you. Mr. Bold. Will you, will you, will you leave my father 
to die in peace in his quiet home?" and seizing him by his 
arm and hand, she followed him across the room towards the 
door. '•' I will not leave you till you promise me ; I '11 cling 
to you in the street ; I '11 kneel to you before all the people. 
You shall promise me this, you shall promise me this, you 

shall " And she clung to him with fixed tenacity, and 

reiterated her resolve with hysterical passion. 

" Speak to her, John ; answer her," said Mary, bewildered 
by the unexpected vehemence of Eleanor's manner ; " you 
cannot have the cruelty to refuse her." 

" Promise me, promise me," said Eleanor ; " say that my 
father is safe — one word will do. I know how true you are ; 
say one word, and I will let you go." 

She still held him, and looked eagerly into his face, with her 
hair dishevelled, and her eyes all bloodshot. She had no 
thought now of herself, no care now for her appearance, and 
yet he thought he had never seen her half so lovely ; he was 
amazed at the intensity of her beauty, and could hardly believe 
that it was she whom he had dared to love. "Promise me," 
said she ; '• I will not leave you till you have promised me." 

"I will," said he at length, '-I do — all I can do, I will 

'• Then may God Almighty bless you for ever and ever ! " 


said Eleanor ; and falling on her knees with her face on Mark's 
lap, she wept and sobbed like a child: her strength had 
carried her through her allotted task, but now it was well nigh 

In a while she was partly recovered, and got up to go, and 
would have gone, had not Bold made her understand that it 
was necessary for him to explain to her how far it was in his 
power to put an end to the proceedings which had been taken 
against Mr. Harding. Had he spoken on any other subject, 
she would have vanished, but on that she was bound to hear 
him ; and now the danger of her position commenced. While 
she had an active part to play, while she clung to him as a 
suppliant, it was easy enough for her to reject his proflfered 
love, and cast from her his caressing words ; but now — now 
that he had yielded, and was talking to her calmly and kindly 
as to her father's welfare, it was hard enough for her to do so. 
Then Mary Bold assisted her, but now she was quite on her 
brothers side. Mary said but little, but every word she did 
say gave some direct and deadly blow. The first thing she 
did was to make room for her brother between herself and 
Eleanor on the sofa : as the sofa was full large for three, 
Eleanor could not resent this, nor could she show suspicion by 
taking another seat ; but she felt it to be a most unkind pro- 
ceeding. And then Mary would talk as though they three 
were joined in some close peculiar bond together ; as though 
they were in future always to wish together, contrive together, 
and act together ; and Eleanor could not gainsay this ; she 
could not make another speech, and say, " Mr. Bold and I are 
mere strangers, Mary, and are always to remain so ! " 

He explained to her that, though undoubtedly the proceed- 
ing against the hospital had commenced solely with himself, 
many others were now interested in the matter, some of whom 
were much more influential than himself : that it was to him 

1 4 


alone, however, that the lawyers looked for instruction as to 
their doings, and, more important still, for the payment of 
their bills ; and he promised that he would at once give them 
notice that it was his intention to abandon the cause. He 
thought, he said, that it was not probable that any active steps 
would be taken after he had seceded from the matter, though 
it was possible that some passing allusion might still be made 
to the hospital in the daily Jupiter. He promised, however, 
that he would use his best influence to prevent any further 
personal allusion being made to Mr. Harding. He then sug- 
gested that he would on that afternoon ride over himself to 
Dr. Grantly, and inform him of his altered intentions on the 
subject, and with this view, he postponed his immediate return 
to London. 

This was all very pleasant, and Eleanor did enjoy a sort of 
triumph in the feeling that she had attained the object for 
which she had sought this interview ; but still the part of 
Iphigenia was to be played out. The gods had heard her 
prayer, granted her request, and were they not to have their 
promised sacrifice? Eleanor was not a girl to defraud them 
wilfully ; so, as soon as she decently could, she got up for her 

"Are you going so soon?" said Bold, who half-an-hour since 
would have given a hundred pounds that he was in London, 
and she still at Barchester. 

" Oh yes ! " said she. "I am so much obliged to you ; papa 
will feel this to be so kind " (she did not quite appreciate all 
her father's feelings) ; " of course I must tell him, and I will 
say that you will see the archdeacon." 

" But may I not say one word for myself? " said Bold. 

" I'll fetch you your bonnet, Eleanor," said Mary, in the act 
of leaving the room. 

" ^lar}^ Mary," said she, getting up and catching her by 

MR. hold's visit TO PLUMSTEAD. 121 

her dress, " don't go, I'll get my bonnet myself ; " but Mary, 
the traitress, stood fast by the door, and permitted no such 
retreat. Poor Iphigenia I 

And with a volley of impassioned love, John Bold poured 
forth the feelings of his heart, swearing, as men do, some truths 
and many falsehoods ; and Eleanor repeated with every shade 
of vehemence the " No, no, no," which had had a short time 
since so much effect; but now, alas ! its strength was gone. 
Let her be never so vehement, her vehemence was not re- 
spected ,: all her " No, no, no's " were met with counter asseve- 
rations, and at last were overpowered. The ground was cut 
from under her on every side : she was pressed to say whether 
her father would object ; whether she herself had any aversion 
(aversion ! God help her, poor girl ! the word nearly made her 
jump into his arms) ; any other preference (this she loudly 
disclaimed) ; whether it was impossible that she should love 
him (Eleanor could not say that it was impossible) : and so at 
last, all her defences demolished, all her maiden barriers swept 
away, she capitulated, or rather marched out with the honours 
of war, vanquished evidently, palpably vanquished, but stiD 
not reduced to the necessity of confessing it. 

And so the altar on the shore of the modern Aulis reeked 
with no sacrifice. 



Whether or no the ill-natured prediction made by certain 
ladies in the beginning of the last chapter, was or was not 
carried out to the letter, I am not in a position to state ; 
Eleanor, however, certainly did feel herself to have been baffled 


as she returned home with all her news to her father. Cer- 
tainly she had been victorious, certainly she had achieved her 
object, certainly she was not unhappy, and yet she did not 
feel herself triumphant. Everything would run smooth now. 
Eleanor was not at all addicted to the Lydian school of ro- 
mance ; she by no means objected to her lover because he came 
in at the door under the name of Absolute, instead of pulling 
her out of a window under the name of Beverley; and yet she 
felt that she had been imposed upon, and could hardly think 
of Mary Bold with sisterly charity. '• I did think I could 
have trusted Mary," she said to herself over and over again. 
'• Oh that she should have dared to keep me in the room when 
I tried to get out ! " Eleanor, however, felt that the game 
was up, and that she had now nothing further to do, but to 
add to the budget of news which was prepared for her father, 
that John Bold was her accepted lover. 

"We will, however, now leave her on her way, and go with 
John Bold to Plumstead Episcopi, merely premising that 
Eleanor on reaching home will not find things so smooth as 
she fondly expected; two messengers had come, one to her 
father, and the other to the archdeacon, and each of fhem 
much opposed to her quiet mode of solving all their difficulties ; 
the one in the shape of a number of the Jupiter, and the other 
in that of a further opinion from Sir Abraham Haphazard. 

John Bold got on his horse and rode off to Plumstead 
Episcopi ; not briskly and with eager spur, as men do ride 
when self-satisfied with their own intentions, but slowly, 
modestly, thoughtfully, and somewhat in di'ead of the coming 
interview. Now and again he would recur to the scene which 
was just over, support himself by the remembrance of the 
silence that gives consent, and exult as a happy lover ; but 
even this feeling was not without a shade of remorse. Had 
he not shown himself childishly weak thus to yield up the 


resolve of many hours of thought to the tears of a pretty girl ? 
How was he to meet his lawyer ? How was he to back out of 
a matter in which his name was already so publicly concerned ? 
What, oh what ! was he to say to Tom Towers ? While 
meditating these painful things he reached the lodge leading 
up to the archdeacon's glebe, and for the first time in his life 
found himself within the sacred precincts. 

All the doctor's children were together on the slope of the 
lawn close to the road, as Bold rode up to the hall door. They 
were there holding high debate on matters evidently of deep 
interest at Plumstead Episcopi, and the voices of the boys had 
been heard before the lodore gate was closed. 

Florinda and Grizzel, frightened at the sight of so well- 
known an enemy to the family, fled on the first appearance of 
the horseman, and ran in terror to their mother's arms; not 
for them was it, tender branches, to resent injuries, or as 
members of a church militant to put on araiour against its 
enemies : but the boys stood their ground like heroes, and 
boldly demanded the business of the intruder. 

"Do you want to see anybody here, sir?" said Henry, with 
a defiant eye and a hostile tone, which plainly said that at any 
rate no one there wanted to see the person so addressed ; and 
as he spoke he brandished aloft his garden water-pot, holding 
it by the spout, ready for the braining of any one. 

"Henry," said Charles James, slowly, and with a certain 
dignity of diction, "Mr. Bold of course would not have come 
without wanting to see some one; if Mr. Bold has a proper 
ground for wanting to see some person here, of course he has 
a right to come." 

But Samuel stepped lightly up to the horse's head, and 
offered his services. "Oh, Mr. Bold," said he, "papa, I'm 
sure, will be glad to see you; I suppose you want to see papa. 
Shall I liold your horse for you ? Oh, what a very pretty 


horse ! " and he turned his head and ■ winked funnily at his 
brothers; "papa has heard such good news about the old 
hospital to-daj. We know you '11 be glad to hear it, because 
you're such a friend of grandpapa Harding, and so much in 
love with aunt Nelly!" 

"How d'ye do, lads?" said Bold, dismounting; "I want to 
see your father if he 's at home." 

"Lads!" said Henry, turning on his heel and addressing 
himself to his brother, but loud enough to be heard by Bold; 
"lads, indeed ! if we're lads, what does he call himself? " 

Charles James condescended to say nothing further, but 
cocked his hat with much precision, and left the visitor to the 
care of his youngest brother. 

Samuel stayed till the servant came, chatting and patting the 
horse; but as soon as Bold had disappeared through the front 
door, he stuck a switch under the animal's tail to make him 
kick, if possible. 

The church reformer soon found himself tete a tete with the 
archdeacon in that same room, in tliat sanctum sanctorum of 
the rectory, to which we have already been introduced. As he 
entered he heard the click of a certain patent lock, but it struck 
liim with no surprise: the worthy clergyman was no doubt 
hiding from eyes profane his last much-studied sermon, for the 
archdeacon, though he preached but seldom, was famous for 
his sermons. No room. Bold thought, could have been more 
becoming for a dignitary of the church; each wall was loaded 
with theology; over each separate book-case was printed in 
small gold letters the names of those great divines whose 
works "^ere ranged beneath: beginning from the early fathers 
in due chronological order, there were to be found the precious 
labours of the chosen servants of the church down to the last 
pamphlet written in opposition to the consecration of Dr. 
Hampden; and raised above this were to be seen the busts of 


the greatest among the great : ChrjsostoDi, St. Augustine, 
Thomas a Becket, Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop Laud, and 
Dr. Philpotts. 

Every appliance that could make study pleasant and give 
ease to the over-toiled brain was there: chairs made to relieve 
each limb and muscle; reading-desks and writing-desks to suit 
every attitude; lamps and candles mechanically contrived to 
throw their light on any favoured spot, as the student might 
desire ; a shoal of newspapers to amuse the few leisure 
moments which might be stolen from the labours of the day; 
and then from the window a view right through a bosky vista 
along which ran a broad green jDath from the rectory to the 
church, at the end of which the tawny-tinted fine old tower 
was seen with all its variegated pinnacles and parapets. Few 
parish churches in England are in better repair, or better worth 
keeping so, than that at Plumstead Episcopi; and yet it is 
built in a faulty style : the body of the church is low — so low, 
that the nearly flat leaden roof would be visible from the 
churchyard, were it not for the carved parapet with which it 
is surrounded. It is cruciform, though the transepts are 
irregular, one being larger than the other; and the tower is 
much too high in proportion to the church: but the colour of 
the building is perfect; it is that rich yellow grey which one 
finds nowhere but in the south and west of England, and which 
is so strong a characteristic of most of our old houses of Tudor 
architecture. The stone work also is beautiful; the mullions 
of the windows and the thick tracery of the Gothic workman- 
ship is as rich as fancy can desire; and though in gazing on 
such a structure, one knows by rule that the old priests who 
built it, built it wrong, one cannot bring oneself to wish that 
they should have made it other than it is. 

When Bold was ushered into the book-room, he found its 
owner standing with his back to the empty fire-place ready to 


receive liim, and he could not but perceive that that expansive 
brow was elated with triumph, and that those full heavy lips 
bore more prominently than usual an appearance of arrogant 

" Well, Mr. Bold," said he, — " -well, what can T do for you? 
Very happy, I can assure you, tc do anything for sucb a friend 
of my father-in-law." 

"I hope you'll excuse my calling. Dr. Grantly." 

" Certainly, certainly," said the archdeacon; " I can assure 
you, no apology is necessary from Mr. Bold; only let me know 
what I can do for him." 

Dr. Grantly was standing himself, and he did not ask Bold 
to sit, and therefore he had to tell his tale standing, leaning on 
the table, with his hat in his hand. He did, however, manage 
to tell it; and as the archdeacon never once interrupted him, 
or even encouraged him by a single word, he was not long in 
coming to the end of it. 

'•'And so, Mr. Bold, I'm to understand, I believe, that you 
are desirous of abandoning this attack upon Mr. Harding." 

" Oh, Dr. Grantly, there has been no attack, I can assure 
you " 

" Well, well, we won't quarrel about words ; I should call it 
an attack — most men would so call an endeavour to take away 
from a man every shilling of income that he has to live upon ; 
but it shan't be an attack, if you don't like it ; you wish to 
abandon this — this little game of back-gammon you've begun 
to play." 

"I intend to put an end to the legal proceedings which I 
have commenced." 

" I understand," said the archdeacon. " You 've already 
had enough of it ; well, I can't say that I am surprised ; carry- 
ing on a losing lawsuit where one has nothing to gain, but 
everything to pay, is not pleasant." 


Bold turned very red iu the lace. " You misinterpret my 
motives," said he; "but, however, that is of little consequence. 
I did not come to trouble you with my motives, but to tell 
you a matter of fact. Good morning, Dr. Grantly." 

"One moment — one moment," said the other. "I don't 
exactly appreciate the taste which induced you to make any 
personal communication to me on the subject ; but I dare say 
I'm wrong, I dare say your judgment is the better of the two ; 
but as you have done me the honour — as you have, as it were, 
forced me into a certain amount of conversation on a subject 
which had better, perhaps, have been left to our la-vvyers, you 
will excuse me if I ask you to hear my reply to your com- 

" I am in no hurry, Dr. Grantly." 

" Well, I am, Mr. Bold ; my time is not exactly leisure time, 
and, therefore, if you please, we'll go to the point at once — 
you're going to abandon this lawsuit? " — and he paused for a 

" Yes, Dr. Grantly, I am." 

" Having exposed a gentleman who was one of your father's 
warmest friends, to all the ignominy and insolence which the 
press could heap upon his name; having somewhat osten- 
tatiously declared that it was your duty as a man of high 
public virtue to protect those poor old fools whom you have 
humbugged there at the hospital, you now find that the game 
costs more than it's worth, and so you make up your mind to 
have done with it. A prudent resolution, Mr. Bold ; but it is 
a pity you should have been so long coming to it. Has it 
struck you that we may not now choose to give over ? that we 
may find it necessary to punish the injury you have done to 
us ? Are you aware, sir, that we have gone to enormous 
expense to resist this iniquitous attempt of yours ? " 


Bold's face was now furiously red, and he nearly crushed 
his hat between his hands ; but he said nothing. 

" We have found it necessary to employ the best advice that 
money could procure. Are you aware, sir, what may be the 
probable cost of securing the services of the attorney- 
general ? " 

" Not in the least, Dr. Grantly." 

" I dare say not, sir. When you recklessly put this affair 
into the hands of your friend Mr. Finney, whose six and 
eightpences and thirteen and fourpences may, probably, not 
amount to a large sum, you were indifferent as to the cost and 
suffering which such a proceeding might entail on others ; but 
are you aware, sir, that these crushing costs must now come 
out of your own pocket ? " 

" Any demand of such a nature which ]Mr. Harding's lawyer 
may have to make, will doubtless be made to my lawyer." 

" Mr. Harding's lawyer and my lawyer ! Did you come 
here merely to refer me to the lawyers ? Upon my word I 
think the honour of your visit might have been spared ! And 
now, sir, I'll tell you what my opinion is — my opinion is, that 
we shall not allow you to withdraw this matter from the 

" You can do as you please. Dr. Grantly ; good morning." 

" Hear me out, sir," said the archdeacon j " I have here in 
my hands the last opinion given in this matter by Sir Abraham 
Haphazard. I dare say you have already heard of this — I 
dare say it has had something to do with your visit here to- 

" I know nothing whatever of Sir Abraham Haphazard or 
his opinion." 

" Be that as it may, here it is ; he declares most explicitly 
that under no phasis of the affair whatever have you a leg to 
stand upon ; that Mr. Harding is as safe in his hospital as I 


am here in my rectory ; that a more futile attempt to destroy a 
man was never made, than this which you have made to ruin 
Mr. Harding. Here," and he slapped the paper on the table, 
" I have this opinion from the very first lawyer in the land ; 
and under these circumstances you expect me to make you a 
low bow for your kind offer to release Mr. Harding from the 
toils of your net ! Sir, your net is not strong enough to hold 
him ; sir, your net has fallen to pieces, and you knew that well 
enough before I told you — and now, sir, I'll wish you good 
morning, for I'm busy." 

Bold was now choking with passion ; he had let the arch- 
deacon run on, because he knew not with what words to- 
interrupt him ; but now that he had been so defied and insulted,, 
he could not leave the room without some reply. 
" Dr. Grantly," he commenced. 

*'I have nothing further to say or to hear," said the arch- 
deacon; " I'll do myself the honour to order your horse :" and 
he rang the bell. 

"I came here. Dr. Grantly, with the warmest, kindest 

feelings " 

" Oh, of course you did ; nobody doubts it." 
*' With the kindest feelings — and they have been most 
grossly outraged by your treatment." 

'' Of course they have — I have not chosen to see my father- 
in-law ruined ; what an outrage that has been to your 
feelings ! " 

" The time will come. Dr. Grantly, when you will under- 
stand why I called upon you to-day." 

"No doubt, no doubt. Is Mr. Bold's horse there ? That's 
right, open the front door — good morning, Mr. Bold ; " and 
the doctor stalked into his own drawing-room, closing the door 
behind him, and making it quite impossible that John Bold 
should speak another word. 



As he got on Lis horse, which he was fain to do feeling like 
a dog turned out of a kitchen, he was again greeted by little 

" Good bye, Mr. Bold ; I hope we may have the pleasure of 
seeing you again before long ; I am sure papa will always be 
glad to see you." 

That was certainly the bitterest moment in John Bold's life ; 
not even the remembrance of his successful love could comfort 
him ; nav, when he thousrht of Eleanor, he felt that it was 
that very love which had brought him to such a pass. That 
he should have been so insulted, and be unable to reply ! 
That he should have given up so much to the request of a 
girl, and then have had his motives so misunderstood ! That 
he should have made so gross a mistake as this visit of his to 
the archdeacon's ! He bit the top of his whip, till he. pene- 
trated the horn of which it was made : he struck the poor 
animal in his anger, and then was doubly angry with himself 
at his futile passion. He had been so completely check-mated, 
so palpably overcome ! and what was he to do ? He could 
not continue his action after pledging himself to abandon it ; 
nor was there any revenge in that — it was the very step to 
which his enemy had endeavoured to goad him ! 

He threw the reins to the servant who came to take his 
horse, and rushed upstairs into his drawing-room, where his 
sister Mary was sitting. 

' '•' If there be a devil," said he, " a real devil here on earth, 
it is Dr. Grantly." He vouchsafed her no further intelligence, 
but again seizing his hat, he rushed out, and took his departure 
for London without another word to any one. 

THE warden's decision. 131 



The meeting between Eleanor and her father was not so 
stormy as that described in the last chapter, but it was hardly 
more successful. On her return from Bold's house, she found 
her father in a strange state. He was not sorrowful and silent 
as he had been on that memorable day when his son-in-law 
lectured him as to all that he owed to his order ; nor was he 
in his usual quiet mood. When Eleanor reached the hospital, 
he was walking quickly to and fro upon the lawn, and she soon 
saw that he was much excited. 

" I am going to London, my dear," he said as soon as he saw 

'•London, papa !" 

'' Yes, my dear, to London ; I will have this matter settled 
some way : there are some things, Eleanor, which I cannot 

" Oh, papa, what is it ? " said she, leading him by the arm 
into the house — " I had such good news for you, and now you 
make me fear I am too late ;" and then, before he could let her 
know what had caused this sudden resolve, or could point to 
the fatal paper which lay on the table, she told him that the 
lawsuit was over, that Bold had commissioned her to assure her 
father in his name that it would be abandoned, that there was no 
further cause for misery, that the whole matter might be looked 
on as though it had never been discussed. She did not tell him 
with what determined vehemence she had obtained this con- 

K 2 

132 THE warde:j7. 

cession in his favour, nor did she mention the price she was to 
pay for it. 

The warden did not express himself peculiarly gratified at 
this intelligence, and Eleanor, though she had not worked for 
thanks, and was bj no means disposed to magnify her own 
good offices, felt hurt at the manner in which her news was 

" Mr. Bold can act as he thinks proper, my love," said he ; 
" if Mr. Bold thinks that he has been wrong, of course he will 
discontinue what he is doing ; but that cannot change my 

" Oh, papa I" she exclaimed, all but crying with vexation — 
"I thought you would have been so happy — I thought all 
would have been right now." 

" Mr. Bold," continued he, " has set great people to work ; 
so great that I doubt they are now beyond his control. Read 
that, my dear : "' and the warden, doubling up a number of the 
Jupiter, pointed to the peculiar article which she was to read. 
It was to the last of the three leaders, which are generally fur- 
nished daily for the support of the nation, that Mr. Harding 
directed her attention. It dealt some heavy blows on various 
clerical delinquents ; on families who had received their tens 
of thousands yearly for doing nothing ; on men who, as the 
article stated, rolled in wealth which they had neither earned 
nor inherited, and which was in fact stolen from the poorer 
clergy. It named some sons of bishops, and grandsons of 
archbishops ; men great in their way, who had redeemed their 
disgrace in the eyes of many by the enormity of their plunder ; 
and then, having disposed of these leviathans, it descended to 
Mr. Harding. 

" We alluded some few weeks since to an instance of similar 
injustice, though in a more humble scale, in which the warden 
of an almshouse at Barchester has become possessed of the 

THE warden's decision. 133 

income of the greater part of the whole institution. Why an 
almshouse should have a warden we cannot pretend to explain, 
nor can we say what special need twelve old men can have for 
the services of a separate clergjTnan, seeing that they have 
twelve reserved seats for themselves in Barchester Cathedral. 
But be this as it may, let the gentleman call himself warden or 
precentor, or what he will, let him be never so scrupulous in 
exacting religious duties from his twelve dependants, or never 
so negligent as regards the services of the cathedral, it appears 
palpably clear that he can be entitled to no portion of the 
revenue of the hospital, excepting that which the founder set 
apart for him ; and it is equally clear that the founder did not 
intend that three-fifths of his charity should be so consumed. 

" The case is certainly a paltry one after the tens of thou- 
sands with which we have been dealing, for the warden's 
income is after all but a poor eight hundred a year: eight 
hundred a year is not magnificent preferment of itself, and the 
warden may, for anything we know, be worth much more to 
the church ; but if so, let the church pay him out of funds 
justly at its own disposal. 

" We allude to the question of the Barchester almshouse at 
the present moment, because we understand that a plea has 
been set up which will be peculiarly revolting to the minds of 
English churchmen. An action has been taken against Mr. 
warden Harding, on behalf of the almsmen, by a gentleman 
acting solely on public grounds, and it is to be argued that 
ISIr. Harding takes noticing but what he receives as a servant 
of the hospital, and that he is not himself responsible for the 
amount of stipend given to him for his work. Such a plea 
would doubtless be fair, if any one questioned the daily wages 
of a bricklayer employed on the building, or the fee of the 
charwoman who cleans it ; but we cannot envy the feeling of 

K 3 


a clergyman of the Ciiurcli of England •who could allow such 
an argument to be put into his mouth. 

" If this plea be put forward, we trust Mr. Harding will bo 
forced as a witness to state the nature of his employment ; the 
amount of work that he does ; the income which he receives, 
and the source from whence he obtained his appointment. 
We do not think he will receive much public sympathy to 
atone for the annoyance of such an examination." 

As Eleanor read the article her face flushed with indigna- 
tion, and when she had finished it, she almost feared to look 
up at her father. 

"Well, my dear," said he, "what do you think of that — is 
it worth while to* be a warden at that price?" 

" Oh, papa — dear papa ! " 

"Mr. Bold can't un write that, my dear — Mr. Bold can't say 
that that shan't be read by every clergyman at Oxford ; nay, 
by every gentleman in the land : " and then he walked up and 
down the room, while Eleanor in mute despair followed him 
with her eyes — "and I'll tell you what, my dear," he con- 
tinued, speaking now very calmly, and in a forced manner 
very unlike himself. " Mr. Bold can't dispute the truth of 
every word in that article you have just read — nor can I." 
Eleanor stared at him, as though she scarcely understood the 
words he was speaking. "Nor can I, Eleanor: that's the 
worst of all; or would be so if there were no remedy ; I have 
thought much of all this since we were together last night ; " 
and he came and sat beside her, and put his arm round her 
waist as he had done then. " I have thought much of what 
the archdeacon has said, and of what this paper says ; and I 
do believe I have no right to be here." 

" No right to be warden of the hospital, papa ? " 

"No right to be warden with eight hundred a year; no 
right to be warden with such a house as this ; no right to 

THE wakden's decision. 135 

spend in luxury money that %yas intended for charity. Mr. 
Bold may do as he pleases about his suit, but I hope he will 
not abandon it for my sake." 

Poor Eleanor ! this was hard upon her. Was it for this she 
had made her great resolve ! For this that she had laid aside 
her quiet demeanour, and taken upon her the rants of a tragedy 
heroine ! One may work and not for thanks, but yet feel hurt 
at not receiving them ; and so it was with Eleanor : one may 
be disinterested in one's good actions, and yet feel discontented 
that they are not recognised. Charity may be given with the 
left hand so privily that the right hand does not know it, and 
yet the left hand may regret to feel that it has no immediate 
reward. Eleanor had had no wish to burden her father with 
a weight of obligation, and yet she had looked forward to 
much delight from the knowledge that she had freed him from 
his sorrows : now such hopes were entirely over ; all that she 
had done was of no avail ; she had humbled herself to Bold in 
vain ; the evil was utterly beyond her power to cure I 

She had thought also how gently she would whisper to her 
father all that her lover had said to her about herself, and how 
impossible she had found it to reject him : and then she had 
anticipated her father's kindly kiss and close embrace as he 
gave his sanction to her love. Alas I she could say nothing of 
this now. In speaking of Mr. Bold, her father put him aside 
as one whose thoughts and sayings and acts could be of no 
moment. Gentle reader, did you ever feel yourself snubbed ? 
Did you ever, when thinking much of your own importance, 
find yourself suddenly reduced to a nonentity ? Such was 
Eleanor's feeling now. 

" They shall not put forward this plea on my behalf," con- 
tinued the warden. *' Whatever may be the truth of the 
matter, that at any rate is not true ; and the man who wrote 
that article is right in saying that such a plea is revolting to 

K 4 


an honest mind. I will go up to London, my dear, and see 
these lawyers myself, and if no better excuse can be made for 
me t)ian that, I and the hospital will part." 

"But the archdeacon, papa?" 

" I can't help it, my dear ; there are some things which a 
man cannot bear, — I cannot bear that " — and he put his 
hand upon the newspaper. 

" But will the archdeacon go with you ? " 

To tell the truth, Mr. Harding had made up his mind to 
steal a march upon the archdeacon. He was aware that he 
<jould take no steps without informing his dread son-in-law, 
but he had resolved that he would send out a note to Plum- 
stead Episcopi detailing his plans, but that the messenger 
should not leave Barchester till he himself had started for 
London ; so that he might be a day before the doctor, who, 
he had no doubt, would follow him. In that day, if he had 
luck, he might arrange it all; he might explain to Sir Abraham 
that he, as warden, would have nothing further to do with the 
defence about to be set up ; he might send in his official re- 
signation to his friend the bishop, and so make public the 
whole transaction, that even the doctor would not be able to 
undo what he had done. He knew too well the doctor's 
strength and his own weakness to suppose he could do this, if 
they both reached London together; indeed, he would never 
be able to get to London, if the doctor knew of his intended 
journey in time to prevent it. 

" Xo, I think not," said he ; *• I think I shall start before 
the archdeacon could be ready — I shall go early to-morrow 

" That will be best, papa," said Eleanor, showing that her 
father's ruse was appreciated. 

" Why, yes, my love : the fact is, I wish to do all this before 
the archdeacon can — can interfere. There is a great deal of 

THE warden's DECISION. 137 

truth in all he says — he argues very well, and I can't always 
answer him ; but there is an old saying, Nelly, ' every one 
knows where his own shoe pinches !' He'll say that I want 
moral courage, and strength of character, and power of en- 
durance, and it's all true; but I'm sure I ought not to remain 
here, if I have nothing better to put forward than a quibble : 
so, Nelly, we shall have to leave this pretty place." 

Eleanor's face brightened up, as she assured her father how 
cordially she agreed with him. 

" True, my love," said he, now again quite happy and at 
ease in his manner. " What good to us is this place or all the 
money, if we are to be ill-spoken of?." 

" Oh, papa, I am so glad ! " 

" My darling child. It did cost me a pang at first, Nelly, to 
think that you should lose your pretty drawing-room, and your 
ponies, and your garden : the garden will be the worst of all 
— but there is a garden at Crabtree, a very pretty garden." 

Crabtree Parva was the name of the small living which Mr. 
Harding had held as a minor canon, and which still belonged 
to him. It was only worth some eighty pounds a year, and a 
small house and glebe, all of which were now handed over to 
Mr. Harding's curate ; but it was to Crabtree glebe that Mr. 
Harding thought of retiring. This parish must not be mis- 
taken for that other living, Crabtree Canonicorum, as it is 
called. Crabtree Canonicorum is a very nice thing ; there are 
only two hundred parishioners ; there are four hundred acres 
of glebe ; and the great and small tithes, which both go to 
the rector, are worth four hundred pounds a year more. 
Crabtree Canonicorum is in the gift of the dean and chapter, 
and is at this time possessed by the Honourable and Reverend 
Dr. Vesey Stanhope, who also fills the prebendal stall of Goose- 
gorge in Barchester Chapter, and holds the united rectory of 
Eiderdown and Stogpingum, or Stoke Pinquium, as it should 


be written. This is tlie same Dr. Vesey Stanhope, whose 
hospitable villa on the Lake of Como is so well known to the 
elite of English travellers, and whose collection of Lombard 
butterflies is supposed to be unique. 

" Yes," said the warden, musing, " there is a very pretty 
garden at Crabtree, but I shall be sorry to disturb poor Smith." 
Smith was the curate of Crabtree, a gentleman who was main- 
taining a wife and half a dozen children on the inconte arising 
from his profession. 

Eleanor assured her father that, as far as she was concerned, 
she could leave her house and her ponies without a single 
regret; she was only so* happy that he was going — going 
where he would escape all this dreadful turmoil. 

" But we will take the music, my dear." 

And so they went on planning their future happiness, and 
plotting how they would arrange it all without the interposition 
of the archdeacon, and at last they again became confidential, 
and then the warden did thank her for what she had done, and 
Eleanor, lying on her father's shoulder, did find an opportunity 
to tell her secret : and the father gave his blessing to his child, 
and said that the man whom she loved was honest, good, and 
kind-hearted, and right-thinking in the main — one who wanted 
only a good wife to put him quite upright; — '"'a man, my 
love," he ended by saying, *• to whom I firmly believe that I 
can trust my treasure with safety." 

" But what will Dr. Grantly say ?" 

"Well, my dear, it can't be helped — we shall be out at 
Crabtree then." 

And Eleanor ran upstairs to prepare her father's clothes for 
his journey ; and the warden returned to his garden to make 
his last adieus to every tree, and shrub, and shady nook that 
he knew so welL 




Wretched in spirit, groaning under the feeling of insult, 
self-condemning, and ill-satisfied in every way, Bold returned 
to his London lodgings. Ill as he had fared in his interview 
with the archdeacon, he was not less under the necessity of 
carrying out his pledge to Eleanor; and he went about his un- 
gracious task with a heavy heart. 

The attorneys whom he had employed in London received 
his instructions with surprise and evident misgiving; however, 
they could only obey, and mutter something of their sorrow 
that such heavy costs should only fall upon their own employer, 
— especially as nothing was wanting but perseverance to throw 
them on the opposite party. Bold left the office which he had 
latterly so much frequented, shaking the dust from off his £cei; 
and before he was down the stairs, an edict had already gone 
forth for the preparation of the bill. 

He next thought of the newspapers. The case had been 
taken up by more than one ; and he was well aware that the 
key note had been sounded by the Jupiter. He had been very 
intimate with Tom Towers, and had often discussed with liim 
the affairs of the hospitah Bold could not say that the articles 
in that paper had been written at his own instigation; he did 
not even know as a fact that they had been written by his 
friend. Tom Towers had never said that such a view of the 
case, or such a side in the dispute, would be taken by the 
paper with which he was connected. Very discreet in such 
matters was Tom Towers, and altogether indisposed to talk 
loosely of the concerns of that mighty engine of which it was 
his high privilege to move in secret some portion. Neverthe- 


less, Bold believed that to him were owing those dreadful 
words which had caused such panic at Barchester, — and he 
conceived himself bound to prevent their repetition. With 
this view he betook himself from the attorneys' to that labora- 
tory where, with amazing chemistry. Tom Towers compounded 
thunderbolts for the destruction of all that is evil, and for the 
furtherance of all that is good, in this and other hemispheres. 

Who has not heard of Mount Olympus — that high abode of 
all the powers of type, that favoured seat of the great goddess 
Pica, that wondrous habitation of gods and devils, from 
whence, with ceaseless hum of steam and never-ending flow of 
Castalian ink, issue forth fifty thousand nightly edicts for the 
governance of a subject nation? 

Velvet and gilding do not make a throne, nor gold and 
jewels a sceptre. It is a throne because the most exalted one 
sits there — and a sceptre because the most mighty one wields 
it. So it is with Mount Olympus. Should a stranger make 
his way thither at dull noonday, or during the sleepy hours of 
the silent afternoon, he would find no acknowledged temple of 
power and beauty, no fitting fane for the great Thunderer, 
no proud facades and pillared roofs to support the dignity of 
this greatest of earthly potentates. To the outward and 
uninitiated eye, Mount Olympus is a somewhat humble spot — 
undistinguished, unadorned, — nay, almost mean. It stands 
alone, as it were, in a mighty city, close to the densest throng 
of men, but partaking neither of the noise nor the crowd ; a 
small secluded, dreary spot, tenanted, one would say, by quite 
unambitious people at the easiest rents. ' Is this Mount 
' Olympus ?' asks the unbelieving stranger. ' Is it from these 
' small, dark, dingy buildings that those infallible laws proceed 
' which cabinets are called upon to obey; by which bishops are 
' to be guided, lords and commons controlled, — judges in- 
' structed in law, generals in strategy, admirals in naval tac- 


* tics, and orange -women in the management of their barrows?* 

* Yes, my friend — from these walls. From here issue the only 
' known infallible bulls for the guidance of British souls and 

* bodies. This little court is the Vatican of England. Here 

* reigns a pope, self-nominated, self-consecrated — ay, and 
' much stranger too, — self-believing! — a pope whom, if you 

* cannot obey hira, I would advise you to disobey as silently as 

* jiossible; a pope hitherto afraid of no Luther; a pope who 
' manages his own inquisition, who punishes unbelievers as no 
' most skilful inquisitor of Spain ever dreamt of doing — one 

* who can excommunicate thoroughly, fearfully, radically; put 

* you be\ond the pale of men's charity; make you odious to 

* your dearest friends, and turn you into a monster to be 
' pointed at by the finger !' 

Oh heavens ! and this is Mount Olympus ! 

It is a fact amazing to ordinary mortals that the Jupiter is 
never wrong. With what endless care, with what unsparing 
labour, do we not strive to get together for our great national 
council the men most fitting to compose it. And how we fail! 
Parliament is always wrong : look at the Jupiter, and see how 
futile are their meetings, how vain their council, how needless 
all their trouble ! With what pride do we regard our chief 
ministers, the great servants of state, the oligarchs of the 
nation on whose wisdom we lean, to whom we look for guidance 
in our difficulties ! But what are they to the writers of the 
Jupiter ? They hold council together and with anxious thought 
painfully elaborate their country's good ; but when all is done, 
tha Jupiter declares that all is nought. Why should we look 
to Lord John Russell — why should we regard Palmerston and 
Gladstone, when Tom Towers without a struggle can put us 
right? Look at our generals, what faults they make; at our 
admirals, how inactive they are. What money, honesty, and 
science can do, is done ; and yet liow badly are our troops 


brought together, fed, conveyed, clothed, armed, and managed. 
The most excellent of our good men do their best to man our 
ships, with the assistance of all possible external appliances, 
but in vain. All, all is wrong — alas ! alas ! Tom Towers, and 
he alone, knows all about it. ^Vhy, oh why, ye earthly 
ministers, why have ye not followed more closely this heaven- 
sent messenger that is among us ? 

Were it not well for us in our ignorance that we confided all 
things to the Jupiter ? TVould it not be wise in us to abandon 
useless talking, idle thinking, and profitless labour ? Away 
with majorities in the House of Commons, with verdicts from 
judicial bench given after much delay, with doubtful laws, and 
the fallible attempts of humanity ! Does not the Jupiter, 
coming forth daily with fifty thousand impressions full of un- 
erring decision on every mortal subject, set all matters suffi- 
ciently at rest ? Is not Tom Towers here, able to guide us 
and willing ? 

Yes indeed, — able and willing to guide all men in all things, 
so long as he is obeyed as autocrat should be obeyed — with 
undoubting submission : only let not ungrateful ministers seek 
other colleagues than those whom Tom Towers may approve ; 
let church and state, law and physic, commerce and agriculture 
— the arts of war, and the arts of peace, all listen and obey, and 
all will be made perfect. Has not Tom Towers an all-seeing 
eye ? From the diggings of Australia to those of California, 
right round the habitable globe, does he not know, watch, and 
chronicle the doings of every one ? From a bishopric in New 
Zealand to an unfortunate director of a North-west passage, is 
he not the only fit judge of capability ? From the sewers of 
London to the Central Railway of India, — from the palaces of 
St. Petersburg to the cabins of Connaught, nothing can escape 
him. Britons have but to read, to obey, and be blessed. None 
but the fools doubt the wisdom of the Jupiter; none but the 
mad dispute its facts. 


No established religion has ever been without its unbelievers, 
even in the country where it is the most firmly fixed ; no creed 
has been without scofiers ; no church has so prospered as to 
free itself entirely from dissent. There are those who doubt 
the Jupiter ! They live and breathe the upper air, walking 
here unscathed, though scorned — men, born of British mothers 
and nursed on English milk, ivho scruple not to say that Mount 
Olympus has its price, that Tom Towers can be bought for 

Such is Mount Olympus, the mouthpiece of all the wisdom 
of this great country. It may probably be said that no place 
in this 19th century is more worthy of notice. No treasury 
mandate armed with the signatures of all the government has 
half the power of one of those broad sheets, which fly forth 
from hence so abundantly, armed with no signature at all. 

Some great man, some mighty peer — we'll say a noble duke 
— retires to rest feared and honoured by all his countrymen — 
fearless himself; if not a good man, at any rate a mighty man 
— too mighty to care much what men may say about his want 
of virtue. He rises in the morning degraded, mean, and mise- 
rable; an object of men's scorn, anxious only to retire as 
quickly as may be to some German obscurity, some unseen 
Italian privacy, or, indeed, anywhere out of sight. What has 
made this awful change ? what has so afflicted him ? An article 
has appeared in the Jupiter ; some fifty lines of a narrow column 
have destroyed all his grace's equanimity, and banished him for 
ever from the world. No man knows who wrote the bitter 
words; the clubs talk confusedly of the matter, whispering to 
each other this and that name ; while Tom Towers walks 
quietly along Pall Mall, with his coat buttoned close against 
the east wind, as though he were a mortal man, and not a god 
dispensing thunderbolts from Mount Olympus. 

It was not to Mount Olympus that our friend Bold betook 


himself. He had before now wandered round that lonely spot, 
thinking how grand a thing it was to write articles for the 
Jupiter ; considering within himself whether by any stretch 
of the powers within him he could ever come to such distinc- 
tion ; wondering how Tom Towers would take any little 
humble offering of his talents ; calculating that Tom Towers 
himself must have once had a beginning, have once doubted 
as to his own success. Towers could not have been born a 
writer in the Jupiter. With such ideas, half ambitious and 
half awe-struck, had Bold regarded the silent-looking work- 
shop of the gods ; but he had never yet by word or sign 
attempted to influence the slightest word of his unerring 
friend. On such a course was he now intent ; and not with- 
out much inward palpitation did he betake himself to the 
quiet abode of wisdom, where Tom Towers was to be found 
o' mornings inhaling ambrosia and sipping nectar in the shape 
of toast and tea. 

Not far removed from Mount Olympus, but somewhat 
nearer to the blessed regions of the West, is the most favoured 
abode of Themis. Washed by the rich tide which now passes 
from the towers of Caesar to Barry's halls of eloquence ; and 
again back, with new offerings of a city's tribute, from the 
palaces of peers to the mart of merchants, stand those quiet 
walls which Law has delighted to honour by its presence. 
What a world within a world is the Temple ! how quiet are 
its " entangled walks," as some one lately has called them, and 
yet how close to the densest concourse of humanity ! how 
gravely respectable its sober alleys, though removed but by a 
single step from the profanity of the Strand and the low 
iniquity of Fleet Street ! Old St. Dunstan, with its bell- 
smiting bludgeoners, has been removed ; the ancient shops 
with their faces full of pleasant history are passing away one 
by one ; the bar itself is to go — its doom has been pronounced 


age was occupied in proving a grievance, and pliilosopliical. 
researches were printed in folio pages, wliicli it took a life to 
write, and an eternity to read. We get on now with a lighter 
step, and quicker : ridicule is found to be more convincing 
than argument, imaginary agonies touch more than true 
sorrows, and monthly novels convince, when learned quartos 
fail to do so. If the world is to be set right, the work will be 
done by shilling numbers. 

Of all such reformers Mr. Sentiment is the most powerful. 
It is incredible the number of evil practices he has put down : 
it is to be feared he will soon lack subjects, and that when he 
has made the working classes comfortable, and got bitter beer 
put into proper-sized pint bottles, there will be nothing further 
for him left to do, Mr. Sentiment is certainly a very powerful 
man, and perhaps not the less so that his good poor people are 
so very good ; his hard rich people so very hard ; and the 
genuinely honest so very honest. Namby-pamby in these days 
is not thrown away if it be introduced in the proper quarters*. 
Divine peeresses are no longer interesting, though possessed of 
every virtue ; but a pattern peasant or an immaculate manu- 
facturing hero may talk as much twaddle as one of Mrs. 
Ratcliffe's heroines, and still be listened to. Perhaps, however, 
Mr. Sentiment's great attraction is in his second-rate cha- 
racters. If his heroes and heroines walk upon stilts, as heroes 
and heroines, I fear, ever must, their attendant satellites are aa 
natural as though one met them in the street : they walk and 
talk like men and women, and live among our friends a rat- 
tling, lively life; yes, live, and will live till the names of their 
calling shall be forgotten in their own, and Buckett and Mrs. 
Gamp will be the only words left to us to signify a detective 
police officer or a monthly nurse. 

" The Almshouse " opened with a scene in a clergyman's 
house. Every luxury to be purchased by wealth was desciibed 


as being there : all the appearances of household indulgence 
generally found amongst the most self-indulgent of the rich 
were crowded into this abode. Here the reader was introduced 
to the demon of the book, the Mephistopheles of the drama. 
What story was ever written without a demon? what novel, 
what history, what work of any sort, what world, would be 
perfect without existing principles both of good and evil ? The 
demon of the " Almshouse " was the clerical owner of this 
comfortable abode. He was a man well stricken in years, but 
still strong to do evil : he was one who looked cruelly out of a 
hot, passionate, bloodshot eye ; who had a huge red nose with 
a carbuncle, thick lips, and a great double, flabby chin, which 
swelled out into solid substance, like a turkey cock's comb, 
when sudden anger inspired him : he had a hot, furrowed, low 
brow, from which a few grizzled hairs were not yet rubbed off 
by the friction of his handkerchief : he wore a loose unstarched 
white handkerchief, black loose ill-made clothes, and huge 
loose shoes, adapted to many corns and various bunions : his 
husky voice told tales of much daily port wine, and his lan- 
guage was not so decorous as became a clergyman. Such was 
the master of Mr. Sentiment's '•' Almshouse." He was a 
widower, but at present accompanied by two daughters, and a 
thin and somewhat insipid curate. One of the young ladies 
was devoted to her father and the fashionable world, and she 
of course was the favourite ; the other was equally addicted to 
Puseyism and the curate. 

The second chapter of course introduced the reader to the 
more especial inmates of the hospital. Here were discovered 
eight old men ; and it was given to be understood that four 
vacancies remained unfilled, through the perverse ill-nature of 
the clerical gentleman with the double chin. The state of 
these eight paupers was touchingly dreadful : sixpence-farthing 
a dnj' had been sufficient for their diet when the almshouse was 


by the Jupiter ; rumour tells us of some huge building that is 
to appear in these latitudes dedicated to law, subversive of the 
courts of Westminster, and antagonistic to the Rolls and Lin- 
coln's Inn ; but nothing yet threatens the silent beauty of the 
Temple : it is the medigeval court of the metropolis. 

Here, on the choicest spot of this choice ground, stands a 
lofty row of chambers, looking obliquely upon the sullied 
Thames ; before the windows, the lawn of the Temple 
Gardens stretches with that dim yet delicious verdure so 
refreshing to the eyes of Londoners. If doomed to live within 
the thickest of London smoke, you would surely say that that 
would be your chosen spot. Yes, you, you whom I now 
address, my dear, middle-aged bachelor friend, can nowhere 
be so well domiciled as here. Xo one here will ask whether 
you are out or at home ; alone or with friends : here no Sab- 
batarian will investigate your Sundays, no censorious landlady 
will scrutinise your empty bottle, no valetudinarian neighbour 
will complain of late hours. If you love books, to what place 
are books so suitable ? The whole spot is redolent of typo- 
graphy. Would you worship the Paphian goddess, the groves 
of Cyprus are not more taciturn than tliu.ij of the Temple. 
Wit and wine are always here, and always together ; the 
revels of the Temple are as those of polished Greece, where 
the wildest worshipper of Bacchus never forgot the dignity of 
the god whom he adored. Where can retirement be so com- 
plete as here ? where can you be so sure of all the pleasures of 
society ? 

It was here that Tom Towers lived, and cultivated with 
eminent success the tenth Muse who now governs the pe- 
riodical press. But let it not be supposed that his chambers 
were such, or so comfortless, as are frequently the gaunt 
abodes of legal aspirants. Four chairs, a half-filled deal book- 
case with hangings of dingy green baize, an old office table 



covered with dusty papers, wliicb are not moved once in six 
months, and an older Pembroke brother with rickety legs, for 
all daily uses — a despatcher for the preparation of lobsters 
and coffee, and an apparatus for the cooking of toast and 
mutton chops ; such utensils and luxuries as these did not 
suffice for the well-being of Tom Towers. He indulged in 
four rooms on the first floor, each of which was furnished, if 
not with the splendour, with probably more than the comfort 
of Stafford House. Every addition that science and art have 
lately made to the luxuries of modern life was to be found 
there. The room in which he usually sat was surrounded by 
book-shelves carefully filled ; nor was there a volume there 
which was not entitled to its place in such a collection, both 
by its intrinsic worth and exterior splendour : a pretty port- 
able set of steps in one corner of the room showed that those 
even on the higher shelves were intended for use. The 
chamber contained but two works of art — the one^ an ad- 
mirable bust of Sir Robert Peel, by Power, declared the indi- 
vidual politics of our friend ; and the other, a singularly long 
figure of a female devotee, by Millais, told equally plainly the 
school of art to which he was addicted. This picture was not 
hung, as pictures usually are, against the wall ; there was no 
inch of wall vacant for such a purpose : it had a stand or desk 
erected for its own accommodation ; and there on her pedestal, 
framed and glazed, stood the devotional lady looking intently 
at a lily as no lady ever looked before. 

Our modern ai'tists, whom we style Prse-Raffaellites, have 
delighted to go back, not only to the finish and peculiar man- 
ner, but also to the subjects of the early painters. It is impos- 
t^ible to give them too much praise for the elaborate perseverance 
with which they have equalled the minute perfections of the 
masters from whom they take their inspiration : nothing pro- 
bably can exceed the painting of some of these latter-day 


pictures. It is, however, singular into what faults they fall as 
regards their subjects : they are not quite content to take the 
old stock groups — a Sebastian with his arrows, a Lucia with 
her eyes in a dish, a Lorenzo with a gridiron, or the virgin 
with two children. But they are anything but happy in their 
change. As a rule, no figure should be drawn in a position 
which it is impossible to suppose any figure should maintain. 
The patient endurance of St. Sebastian, the wild ecstasy of 
St. John in the Wilderness, the maternal love of the virgin, 
are feelings naturally portrayed by a fixed posture ; but the 
lady with the stiff back and bent neck, who looks at her 
flower, and is still looking from hour to hour, gives us an idea 
of pain without grace, and abstraction without a cause. 

It was ea^y, from his rooms, to see that Tom Towers was a 
Sybarite, though by no means an idle one. He was lingering 
over his last cup of tea, surrounded by an ocean of news- 
papers, through which he had been swimming, when John 
Bold's card was brought in by his tiger. This tiger never 
knew that his master was at home, though he often knew that 
he was not, and thus Tom Towers was never invaded but by 
his own consent. On this occasion, after twisting the card 
twice in his fingers, he signified to his attendant imp that he 
was visible ; and the inner door was unbolted, and our friend 

I have before said that he of the Jupiter and John Bold 
were intimate. There was no very great difference in their 
ages, for Towers was still considerably under forty ; and when 
Bold had been attending the London hospitals, Towers, who 
was not then the great man that he had since become, had 
been much witli him. Then they had often discussed together 
the objects of their ambition and future prospects; then Tom 
Towers was struggling hard to maintain himself, as a briefless 
barrister, by short-hand reporting for any of the papers that 

L 2 


would engage him ; then he had not dared to dream of writing 
headers for the Jupiter, or canvassing the conduct of Cabinet 
ministers. Thins-s had altered since that time ; the briefless 
'barrister was still briefless, but he now despised briefs : could 
he have been sure of a judge's seat, he would hardly have left 
■his present career. It is true he wore no ermine, bore no out- 
ward marks of a world's respect ; but with what a load of 
inward imoortance was he charsred ! It is true his name 
appeared in no large capitals ; on no wall was chalked up 
"Tom Towers for ever" — "Freedom of the Press and Tom 
Towers : " but what member of Parliament had half his power ? 
It is true that in far-off provinces men did not talk daily of 
Tom Towers, but they read the Jupiter, and acknowledged 
that without the Jupiter life was not worth having. This 
kind of hidden but still conscious glory suited the nature of the 
man. He loved to sit silent in a corner of his club and listen 
to the loud chattering of politicians, and to think how they all 
were in his power — how he could smite the loudest of them, 
were it worth his wliile to raise his pen for such a purpose. 
He loved to watch the great men of whom he daily wrote, and 
flatter himself that he was greater than any of them. Each of 
them was responsible to his country, each of them must answer 
if inquired into, each of them must endure abuse with good 
humour, and insolence without anger. But to whom was he, 
Tom Towers, responsible ? No one could insult him ; no one 
could inquire into him. He could speak out withering words, 
and no one could answer him : ministers courted him, though 
perhaps they knew not his name ; bishops feared him ; judges 
doubted their own verdicts unless he confirmed them; and 
generals, in their councils of war, did not consider more deeply 
what the enemy would do, than what the Jupiter would say. 
Tom Towers never boasted of the Jupiter ; he scarcely ever 
named the paper even to the most intimate of his friends j he 


did not even wish to be spoken of as connected with it ; but 
he did not the less value his privileges, or think the less of his- 
own importance. It is probable that Tom Towers considered 
himself the most powerful man in Europe ; and so he walked 
on from day to day, studiously striving to look a man, but 
l^nowing within his breast that he was a god. 



" Ah, Bold ! how are you ? You have n't breakfasted ?" 

" Oh yes, hours ago. And how are you?" 

When one Esquimaux meets another, do the two, as an in 
variable rule, ask after each other's health ? is it inherent in- 
all human nature to make this obliging inquiry? Did any 
reader of this tale ever meet any friend or acquaintance without 
asking some such question, and did any one ever listen to the 
reply ? Sometimes a studiously courteous questioner will show 
so much thought in the matter as to answer it himself, by de- 
claring that had he looked at you he needn't have asked; 
meaning thereby to signify that you are an absolute personifi- 
cation of health : but such persons are only those who pre- 
meditate small efiects. 

"I suppose you're busy?" inquired Bold. 

" Why, yes, rather ; or I should say rather not : I have a 
leisure hour in the day, this is it." 

" I want to ask you if you can oblige me in a certain matter.'* 

Towers understood in a moment, from the tone of his friend's 
voice, that the certain matter referred to the newspaper. He 
emiled, and nodded his head, but made no promise. 

L 3 


'•'You know this lawsuit that I've been engaged in," said 

Tom Towers intimated that he was aware of the action 
which was pending about the hospital. 

'•' Well, I've abandoned it."' 

Tom Towers merely raised his eyebrows, thrust his hands 
into his trousers' pockets, and waited for his friend to proceed. 

" Yes, I've given it up. I need n't trouble you with all the 
history; but the fact is that the conduct of Mr. Harding — 
Mr. Hardingr is the " 

" Oh yes, the master of the place; the man who takes all ths 
money and does nothing," said Tom Towers, interrupting him. 

" Well, I don't know about that ; but his conduct in the 
matter has been so excellent, so little selfish, so open, that I 
cannot proceed in the matter to his detriment." Bold's heart 
misgave him as to Eleanor as he said this; and yet he felt that 
what he said was not untrue. " I think nothing should now 
be done till the wardenship be vacant." 

'•' And be again filled,'' said Towers, " as it certainly would, 
before any one heard of the vacancy; and the same objection 
would again exist. It 's an old story that of the vested rights 
of the incumbent; but suppose the incumbent has only a vested 
wrong, and that the poor of the town have a vested right, if 
they only knew how to get at it : is not that something the 
case here?" 

Bold could n't deny it, but thought it was one of those cases 
which required a good deal of management before any real 
o-ood could be done. It was a pity that he had not considered 
this before he crept into the lion's mouth, in the shape of an 
attorney's ofiEice. 

" It will cost you a good deal, I fear,'' said Towers. 

'•A few hundreds," said Bold — "perhaps three hundred; I 
can't help that, and am prepared for it." 



through the world, regarding, as a prudent man, liis worldly 
work, prospering in it as a diligent man will prosper, but 
always with an eye to that better treasure to which thieves 
do not creep in ? Is there not much nobility in that old 
man, as, leaning on his oaken staff, he walks down the high 
street of his native town, and receives from all courteous 
salutation and acknowledgment of his worth ? A noble old 
man, my august inhabitants of Belgrave Square and such 
like vicinity — a very noble old man, though employed no 
better than in the wholesale carding of wool. 

* This carding of wool, however, did in those days bring 
with it much profit, so that our ancient friend, when dying, 
was declared, in whatever slang then prevailed, to cut up 
exceeding well. For sons and daughters there was ample 
sustenance, with assistance of due industry ; for friends and 
relatives some relief for grief at this great loss ; for aged 
dependants comfort in declining years. This was much for 
one old man to get done in that dark fifteenth century. But 
this was not all : coming generations of poor woolcarders 
should bless the name of this rich one ; and a hospital should 
be founded and endowed with his wealth for the feeding of 
such of the trade as could not, by diligent carding, any longer 
duly feed themselves. 

* 'T was thus that an old man in the fifteenth century did 
his godlike work to the best of his power, and not ignobly, 
as appears to me. 

* We will now take our godly man of latter days. He shall 
no lonorer be a woolcarder, for such are not now men of 
mark. We will suppose him to be one of the best of the 
good — one who has lacked no opportunities. Our old friend 
was, after all, but illiterate ; our modern friend shall be a 
man educated in all seemly knowledge ; he shall, in short, be 
that blessed being — a clergyman of the Church of England ! 


* And now, in what perfectest manner does he in this lower 

* world get his godlike work done and put out of hand ? 

* Heavens !" in the strangest of manners. Oh, mj brother ! in 

* a manner not at all to be believed but by the most minute 

* testimony of eyesight. He does it by the magnitude of his 

* appetite — by the power of his gorge; his only occupation is 

* to swallow the bread prepared with so much anxious care for 

* these impoverished carders of wool — that, and to sing in- 

* differently through his nose once in the week some psalm 

* more or less long — the shorter the better, we should be in- 

* clined to say. 

' Oh, my civilised friends I — great Britons that never will 
' be slaves, men advanced to infinite state of freedom and 

* knowledge of good and evil — tell me, will you, what bc- 

* coming monument you will erect to an highly-educated 

* clergyman of the Church of England ? ' 

Bold certainly thought that his friend would not like that : 
he could not conceive anything that he would like less than 
this. To what a world of toil and trouble had he, Bold, given 
rise by his indiscreet attack upon the hospital ! 

" You see," said Towers, " that this affair has been much 
talked of, and the public are with you. I am sorry you should 
give the matter up. Have you seen the first number of the 

No ; Bold had not seen the " Almshouse." He had seen 
advertisements of Mr. Popular Sentiment's new novel of that 
name, but had in no way connected it with Barchester Hospital, 
and had never thought a moment on the subject. 

'•' It 's a direct attack on the whole system," said Towers. 
" It '11 go a long way to put down Rochester, and Barchester, 
and Dulwich, and St. Cross, and all such hotbeds of peculation. 
It's very clear that Sentiment has been down to Barchester, 
and got up the whole story there ; indeed, I thought he must 


have had it all from you, it 's vcrj well done, as you '11 see : his 
first numbers always are/* 

Bold declared that Mr. Sentiment had got nothing from him, 
and that he was deeply grieved to find that the case had be- 
come so notorious. 

"The fire has gone too far to be quenched," said Towers; 
" the building must go now ; and as the timbers are all rotten, 
why, I should be inclined to say, the sooner the better. I 
expected to see you get some eclat in the matter." 

This was all wormwood to Bold. He had done enough to 
make his friend the warden miserable for life, and had then 
backed out just when the success of his project was sufficient 
to make the question one of real interest. How weakly he 
had managed his business ! he had already done the harm, and 
then stayed his hand when the good which he had in view was 
to be commenced. How delightful would it have been to have 
employed all his energy in such a cause — to have been backed 
by the Jupiter, and written up to by two of the most popular 
authors of the day ! The idea opened a view into the very 
world in which he wished to live. To what might it not have 
given rise ? what delightful intimacies — what public praise — 
to what Athenian banquets and rich flavour of Attic salt ? 

This, however, was now past hope. He had pledged himself 
to abandon the cause ; and could he have forgotten the pledge, 
he had gone too far to retreat. He was now, this moment, 
sitting in Tom Towers' room with the object of deprecatino- 
any further articles in the Jupiter, and, greatly as he disliked 
the job, his petition to that effect must be made. 

" I could n't continue it," said he, " because I found I was 
in the wrong." 

Tom Towers shrugged his shoulders. How could a suc- 
cessful man be in the wrong ! " In that case," said he, " of 
course you must abandon it." 


" And I called this morning to ask you also to abandon it," 
said Bold. 

" To ask me," said Tom Towers with the most placid of 
smiles, and a consummate look of gentle surprise, as though 
Tom Towers was well aware that he of all men was the last 
to meddle in such matters. 

'•' Yes," said Bold, almost trembling with hesitation. *' The 
Jupiter, you know, has taken the matter up very strongly. 
Mr. Harding has felt what it has said deeply ; and I thought 
that if I could explain to you that he personally has not been 
to blame, these articles might be discontinued." 

How calmly impassive was Tom Towers' face, as this inno- 
cent little proposition was made ! Had Bold addressed him- 
self to the doorposts in ^Mount Olympus, they would have 
shown as much outward sign of assent or dissent. His quies- 
cence was quite admirable ; his discretion certainly more than 

"My dear fellow," said he, vrhen Bold had quite done 
speaking, '• I really cannot answer for the Jupiter." 

"But if you saw that these articles were unjust, I think 
you would endeavour to put a stop to them : of course nobody 
doubts that you could, if you chose." 

'•' Nobody and everybody are always very kind, but unfor- 
tunately are generally very wrong." 

'•' Come, come. Towers," said Bold, plucking up his courage, 
and remembering that for Eleanor's sake he was bound to 
make his best exertion ; " I have no doubt in my own mind 
but that you wrote the articles yourself ; and very well 
written they were : it will be a great favour if you will in 
future abstain from any personal allusion to poor Harding." 

" My dear Bold," said Tom Towers, " I have a sincere 
regard for you. I have known you for many years, and value 
your friendship ; I hope you will let me explain to you, with- 


out offence, that none who are connected with the public press 
can with propriety listen to interference." 

"Interference ! " said Bold, "I don't want to interfere." 

" Ah, but my dear fellow, you do ; what else is it ? You 
think that I am able to keep certain remarks out of a news- 
paper. Your information is probably incorrect, as most public 
gossip on such subjects is ; but, at any rate, you think I have 
such power, and you ask me to use it : now that is inter- 

" Well, if you choose to call it so." 

"And now suppose for a moment that I had this power, 
and used it as you wish : is n't it clear that it would be a 
great abuse ? Certain men are employed in writing for the 
public press ; and if they are induced either to write or to 
abstain from writing by private motives, surely the public 
press would soon be of little value. Look at the recognised 
worth of different newspapers, and see if it does not mainly 
depend on the assurance which the public feel that such a 
paper is, or is not, independent. You alluded to the Jupiter : 
surely you cannot but see that the weight of the Jupiter is too 
great to be moved by any private request, even though it 
should be made to a much more influential person than myself : 
you've only to think of this, and you '11 see that I am right." 

The discretion of Tom Towers was boundless : there was 
no contradicting what he said, no arguing against such pro- 
positions. He took such high ground that there was no 
getting on it. " The public is defrauded," said he, '• whenever 
private considerations are allowed to have weight." Quite 
true, thou greatest oracle of the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, thou sententious proclaimer of the purity of the press — 
the public is defrauded when it is purposely misled. Poor 
public ! how often is it misled ! against what a world of fraud 
has it to contend ! 


Bold took his leave, and got out of the room as quickly as 
he could, inwardly denouncing his friend Tom Towers as a 
prig and a humbug. ' I know he wrote those articles,' said 
Bold to himself ; ' I know he got his information from me. 
' He was ready enough to take my word for gospel when it 
' suited his own views, and to ?et Mr. Harding up before the 
'public as an impostor on no other testimony than my chance 

* conversation ; but when I offer him real evidence opposed to 
' his own views, he tells me that private motives are detri- 
' mental to public justice! Confound his arrogance! What 

* is any public question but a conglomeration of private in- 
' terests ? What is any newspaper article but an expression 

* of the views taken by one side ? Truth ! it takes an age to 

* ascertain the truth of any question ! The idea of Tom 
' Towers talking of public motives and purity of purpose ! 

* Why, it would n't give him a moment's uneasiness to change 

* his politics to-morrow, if the paper required it.* 

Such were John Bold's inward exclamations as he made his 
way out of the quiet labyrinth of the Temple ; and yet there 
was no position of worldly power so coveted in Bold's ambition 
as that held by the man of whom he was thinking. It was the 
impregnability of the place which made Bold so angry with 
the possessor of it, and it was the same quality which made it 
appear so desirable. 

Passing into the Strand, he saw in a bookseller's window an 
announcement of the first number of the "Almshouse ;" so he 
purchased a copy, and hurrying back to his lodgings, pro- 
ceeded to ascertain what Mr. Popular Sentiment had to say to 
the public on the subject which had lately occupied so much of 
his own attention. 

In former times great objects were attained by great work. 
When evils were to be reformed, reformers set about their 
heavy task with grave decorum and laborious argument. An 


founded ; and on sixpence-farthing a-daj were they still 
doomed to starve, though food was four times as dear, and 
money four times as plentiful. It was shocking to find how 
the conversation of these eight starved old men in their 
dormitory shamed that of the clergyman's family in his rich 
drawing-room. The absolute words they uttered were not 
perhaps spoken in the purest English, and it might be difficult 
to distinguish from their dialect to what part of the country 
they belonged ; the beauty of the sentiment, however, amply 
atoned for the imperfection of the language ; and it was really 
a pity that these eight old men could not be sent through the 
country as moral missionaries, instead of being immured and 
starved in that wretched almshouse. 

Bold finished the number; and as he threw it aside, he 
thought that that at least had no direct appliance to Mr. 
Harding, and that the absurdly strong colouring of the picture 
would disenable the work from doing either good or harm. He 
was wrong. The artist who paints for the million must use 
glaring colours, as no one knew better than Mr. Sentiment 
when he described the inhabitants of his almshouse ; and the 
radical reform which has now swept over such establishments 
lias owed more to the twenty numbers of Mr. Sentiment's 
novel, than to all the true complaints which have escaped from 
the public for the last half century. 





The warden had to make use of all his very moderate powers 
of intrigue to give his son-in-law the slip, and get out of Bar- 
chester without being stopped on his road. No schoolboy ever 
ran away from school with more precaution and more dread of 
detection ; no convict, slipping down from a prison wall, ever 
feared to see the gaoler more entirely than Mr. Harding did to 
see his son-in-law, as he drove up in the pony carriage to the 
railway station, on the morning of his escape to London. 

The evening before he went, he wrote a note to the arcli- 
deacon, explaining that he should start on the morrow on his 
journey; that it was his intention to see the attorney-general 
if possible, and to decide on his future plans in accordance witli 
what he heard from that gentleman ; he excused himself for 
giving Dr. Grantly no earlier notice, by stating that his re- 
solve was very sudden ; and having entrusted this note to 
Eleanor, with the perfect, though not expressed, understanding 
that it was to be sent over to Plumstead Episcopi without 
haste, he took his departure. 

He also prepared and carried with him a note for Sir 
Abraham Haphazard, in which he stated his name, explaining 
that he was the defendant in the case of " The Queen on behalf 
of the Vrool-carders of Barchester v. Trustees under the will 
of the late John Hiram," for so was the suit denominated, and 
beo-sred tlie illustrious and learned gentleman to vouchsafe to 
liim ten minutes' audience at any hour on the next day. Mr. 
Harding calculated that for that one day he was safe ; his son- 
in-law, he had no doubt, would arrive in town by an early 
train, but not early enough to reach the truant till he should 

A 1.0 NG DAY IX LONDON. 165 

have escaped from his hotel after breakfast ; and could he thus 
manage to see the lawyer on that very day, the deed might be 
done before the archdeacon could interfere. 

On his arrival in town the warden drove, as was his wont, 
to the Chapter Hotel and Coffee House, near St. Paul's. His 
visits toOLondon of late had not been frequent; but in those 
happy days when Harding's church music was going through 
the press, he had been often there ; and as the publisher's house 
was in Paternoster Row, and the printer's press in Fleet Street, 
the Chapter Hotel and Coffee House had been convenient. It 
was a quiet, sombre, clerical house, beseeming such a man as 
the warden, and thus he afterwards frequented it. Had he 
dared, he would on this occasion have gone elsewhere to throw 
the archdeacon further off the scent ; but he did not know what 
violent steps his son-in-law might take for his recovery if he 
were not found at his usual haunt, and he deemed it not pru- 
dent to make himself the object of a hunt through London. 

Arrived at his inn, he ordered dinner, and went forth to the 
attorney-general's chambers. There he learnt that Sir Abraham 
was in Court, and would not probably return that day. He 
would go direct from Court to the House ; all appointments 
were, as a rule, made at the chambers ; the clerk could by no 
means promise an interview for the next day ; was able, on the 
other hand, to say that such interview was, he thought, impos- 
sible ; but that Sir Abraliam would certainly be at the House 
in the course of the night, when an answer from himself might 
possibly be elicited. 

To the House Mr. Harding went, and left his note, not find- 
ing Sir Abraham there. He added a most piteous entreaty 
that he might be favoured with an answer that evening, for 
which he would return. He then journeyed back sadly to the 
Chapter Coffee House, digesting his great thoughts, as best he 
might, in a clattering omnibus, wedged in between a wet old 

M 3 


lady and a journeyman glazier, returning from his work with 
his tools in his lap. In melancholy solitude he discussed his 
mutton chop and pint of port. What is there in this world 
more melancholy than such a dinner? A dinner, though 
alone, in a country hotel may be worthy of some energy ; the 
waiter, if you are known, will make much of you ; the landlord 
will make you a bow, and perhaps put the fish on the table ; if 
you ring you are attended to, and there is some life about it. 
A dinner at a London eatlnghouse is also lively enough, if it 
have no other attraction. There is plenty of noise and stir 
about it, and the rapid whirl of voices and rattle of dishes 
disperses sadness. But a solitary dinner in an old, respectable, 
sombre, solid London inn, where nothing makes any noise but 
the old waiter's creaking shoes ; where one plate slowly goes 
and another slowly comes without a sound ; where the two or 
three guests would as soon think of knocking each other down 
as of speaking ; where the servants whisper, and the whole 
household is disturbed if an order be s^iven above the voice — 
what can be more melancholy than a mutton chop and a pint 
of port in such a pLice ? 

Havinj]^ srone throucrh this. Mr. Harding ojot into another 
omnibus, and again returned to the House. Yes, Sir Abraham 
was there, and was that moment on his legs, fighting eagerly 
for the hundi'ed and seventh clause of the Convent Custody 
Bill. Mr. Harding's note Lad been delivered to him ; and if 
Mr. Harding would wait some two or three hours, Sir Abraham 
could be asked whether there was any answer. The House 
was not full, and perhaps Mr. Harding might get admittance 
into the Strangers' Gallery, which admission, with the help of 
five shillings, Mr. Harding was able to effect. 

This bill of Sir Abraham's had been read a second time and 
passed into committee. A hundred and six clauses hadah'eady 
been discussed, and had occupied only four mornings and five 


evening sittings : nine of the hundred and six clauses were 
passed, fifty-five were withdrawn by consent, fourteen had 
been altered so as to mean the reverse of the original proposi- 
tion, eleven had been postponed for further consideration, and 
seventeen had been directly negatived. The hundred and 
seventh ordered the bodily searching of nuns for Jesuitical 
symbols by aged clergymen, and was considered to be the real 
mainstay of the whole bill. No intention had ever existed to 
pass such a law as that proposed, but the government did not 
intend to abandon it till their object was fully attained by the 
discussion of this clause. It was known that it would be in- 
sisted on with terrible vehemence by Protestant Irish members, 
and as vehemently denounced by the Roman Catholic ; and it 
was justly considered that no further union between the parties 
would be possible after such a battle. The innocent Irish fell 
into the trap as they always do, and whisky and poplins became 
a drug in the market. 

A florid-faced gentleman with a nice head of hair, from the 
south of Ireland, had succeeded in catching the speaker's eye 
by the time that Mr. Harding had got into the gallery, and 
was denouncing the proposed sacrilege, his whole face glowing 
with a fine theatrical frenzy. 

" And is this a Christian country ? "' said he. (Loud cheers ; 
counter cheers from the ministerial benches. ' Some doubt as 
to that,' from a voice below the gangway.) " No, it can be no 
Christian country, in which the head of the bar, the lagal 
adviser (loud laughter and cheers) — yes, I say the lagal adviser 
of the crown (great cheers and laughter) — can stand up in his 
seat in this house (prolonged cheers and laughter), and attempt 
to lagalise indacent assaults on the bodies of religious ladies." 
(Deafening cheers and laughter, which were prolonged till the 
honourable member resumed his seat.) 

When Mr. Harding had listened to this and much more of 

M 4 


the same kind for about three hours, he returned to the door 
of the house, and received back from the messenger his own 
note, with the following words scrawled in pencil on the back 
of it : — " To-morrow, 10 p.m. — my chambers. A. H." 

He was so far successful, — but 10 p.m. : w^hat an hour Sir 
Abraham had named for a legal interview ! Mr. Harding felt 
perfectly sure that long before that Dr. Grantly would be in 
London. Dr. Grantly could not, however, know that this 
interview had been arranged, nor could he learn it unless he 
managed to get hold of Sir Abraham before that hour ; and as 
this was very improbable, Mr. Harding determined to start 
from his hotel early, merely leaving word that he should dine 
out, and unless luck were much against him, he might still 
escape the archdeacon till his return from the attorney -general's 

He was at breakfast at nine, and for the twentieth time 
consulted his *•' Bradshaw," to see at what earliest hour Dr. 
Grantly could arrive from Barchester. As he examined the 
columns, he was nearly petrified by the reflection that perhaps 
the archdeacon might come up by the night mail-train ! His 
heart sank within him at the horrid idea, and for a moment he 
felt himself dragged back to Barchester without accomplishing 
any portion of his object. Then he remembered that had Dr. 
Grantly done so. he would have been in the hotel, looking for 
him long since. 

" Waiter," said he, timidly. 

The waiter approached, creaking in his shoes, but voiceless. 

"Did any gentleman — a clergyman, arrive here by the night 

" No, sir, not one," whispered the waiter, putting his mouth 
nearly close to the warden's ear. 

Mr. Harding was reassured. 

*' Waiter," said he again, and the waiter again creaked up. 


" If any one calls for me, I am going to dine out, and shall 
return about eleven o'clock." 

The waiter nodded, but did not this time vouchsafe any 
reply ; and Mr. Harding, taking up his hat, proceeded out to 
pass a long day in the best way he could, somewhere out of 
sight of the archdeacon. 

"Bradshaw" had told him twenty times that Dr. Grantly 
could not be at Paddington station till 2 p.m., and our poor 
friend might therefore have trusted to the shelter of the hotel 
for some hours longer with perfect safety ; but he was nervous. 
There was no knowing what steps the archdeacon might take 
for his apprehension : a message by electric telegraph might 
desire the landlord of the hotel to set a watch upon him ; some 
letter might come which he might find himself unable to dis- 
obey ; at any rate, he could not feel himself secure in any 
place at which the archdeacon could expect to find him ; and 
at 10 A.M. he started forth to spend twelve hours in London. 

Mr. Harding had friends in town, had he chosen to seek 
them ; but he felt that he was in no humour for ordinary calls, 
and he did not now wish to consult with any one as to the 
great step which he had determined to take. As he had said 
to his daughter, no one knows where the shoe pinches but the 
wearer. There are some points on which no man can be con- 
tented to follow the advice of another — some subjects on which 
a man can consult his own conscience only. Our warden had 
made up his mind that it was good for him at any cost to get 
rid of this grievance ; his daughter was the only person whose 
concurrence appeared necessary to him, and she did concur 
with liim most heartily. Under such circumstances he would 
not, i! he could help it, consult any one further, till advice 
would be useless. Should the archdeacon catch him, indeed, 
there would be much advice, and much consultation of a kind 
not to be avoided ; but he hoped better things ; and as he felt 


that lie could not now converse on indifferent subjects, he 
resolved to see no one till after his interview with the attornej- 

He determined to take sanctuary in Westminster Abbey, so 
he again went thither in an omnibus, and finding that the 
doors were not open for morning service, he paid his twopence, 
and went in as a sight-seer. It occurred to him that he had 
no definite place of rest for the day, and that he should be 
absolutely worn out before his interview if he attempted to 
walk about from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., so he .sat himself down on 
a stone step, and gazed up at the figure of William Pitt, who 
looks as though he had just entered the church for the first 
time in his life, and was anything but pleased at finding him- 
self there. 

He had been sitting unmolested about twenty minutes, when 
the verger asked him whether he would n't like to walk round. 
Mr. Harding did n't want to walk anywhere, and declined, 
merely observing that he was waiting for the morning service. 
The verger seeing that he was a clergyman, told him that the 
doors of the choir were now open, and showed him into a seat. 
This was a great point gained ; the archdeacon would certainly 
not come to morning service at Westminster Abbey, even 
though he were in London ; and here the warden could rest 
quietly, and, when the time came, duly say his prayers. 

He longed to get up from his seat, and examine the music- 
books of the choristers, and the copy of the litany from which 
the service was chanted, to see how far the little details at 
Westminster corresponded with those at Barchester, and 
whether he thought his own voice would fill the church well 
from the Westminster precentor's seat. There would, however, 
be impropriety in such meddling, and he sat perfectly still, 
looking up at the noble roof, and guarding against the coming 
fatigues of the day. 


Bj degrees two or three people entered : the very same 
damp old woman who had nearly obliterated him in the omnibus. 
or some other just like her ; a couple of young ladies with 
their veils down, and gilt crosses conspicuous on their prayer- 
books ; an old man on crutches ; a party who were seeing the 
abbey, and thought they might as well hear the service for 
their twopence, as opportunity served ; and a young woman 
with her prayer-book done up in her handkerchief, who rushed 
in late, and, in her hurried entry, tumbled over one of the 
forms, and made such a noise that every one, even the officiat- 
ing minor canon, was startled, and she herself was so frightened 
by the echo of her own catastrophe, that she was nearly thrown 
into fits by the panic. 

]Mr. Harding was not much edified by the manner of the 
service. The minor canon in question hurried in, somewhat 
late, in a surplice not in the neatest order, and was followed 
by a dozen choristers, who were also not as trim as they might 
have been : they all jostled into their places with a quick 
hurried step, and the service was soon commenced. Soon com- 
menced and soon over, for there was no music, and time was 
not unnecessarily lost in the chanting. On the whole, Mr. 
Harding was of opinion that things were managed better at 
Barchester, though even there he knew that there was room 
for improvement. 

It appears to us a question whether any clergyman can go 
through our church service with decorum, morning after morn- 
ing, in an immense building, surrounded by not more than a 
dozen listeners. The best actors cannot act well before empty 
benches, and though there is, of course, a higher motive in one 
case than the other, still even the best of clergymen cannot 
but be influenced by their audience ; and to expect that a duty 
should be well done under such circumstances, would be to 
require from human nature more than human power. 


When the two ladies A"ith the gilt crosses, the old man with 
his crutch, and the still palpitating housemaid were going, 
Mr. Harding found himself obliged to go too. The verger 
stood in his way, and looked at him and looked at the door, 
and so he went. But he returned again in a few minutes, and 
re-entered with another twopence. There was no other sanc- 
tuary so good for him. 

As he walked slowly down the nave, and then up one aisle, 
and then again down the nave and up the other aisle, he tried 
to think gravely of the step he was about to take. He was 
going to give up eight hundred a year voluntarily ; and doom 
himself to live for the rest of his life on about a hundred and 
fifty. He knew that he had hitlierto failed to realise this fact 
as he ousht to do. Could he maintain his own independence 
and support his daughter on a hundred and fifty pounds a year 
without being a burden on any one ? His son-in-law Avas 
rich, but nothing could induce him to lean on his son-in-law 
after acting, as lie intended to do, in most direct opposition to 
his counsel. The bishop was rich, but he was about to throw 
away the bishop's best gift, and that in a manner to injure 
materially the patronage of the giver : he could neither expect 
nor accept anything further from the bishop. There would 
be not only no merit, but positive disgrace, in giving up his 
wardenship, if he were not prepared to meet the world without 
it. Yes, he must from this time forward bound all his human 
wishes for himself and his daughter to the poor extent of so 
limited an income. He knew he had not thought sufiiciently 
of this, that he had been carried away by enthusiasm, and had 
hitherto not brought home to himself the full reality of his 

He thought most about his daughter, naturally. It was true 
that she was engaged, and he knew enough of his proposed 
Bon-in-law to be sure that his own altered circumstances would 


make no obstacle to sucli a marriage ; naj, he was sure that 
the very fact of his poverty would induce Bold more anxiously 
to press the matter ; but he disliked counting on Bold in this 
emergency, brought on, as it had been, by his doing. He did 
not like saying to himself. Bold has turned me out of my 
house and income, and, therefore, he must relieve me of my 
daughter ; he preferred reckoning on Eleanor as the com- 
panion of his poverty and exile, — as the sharer of his small 

Some modest provision for his daughter had been long since 
made. His life was insured for three thousand pounds, and 
this sum was to go to Eleanor. The archdeacon, for some 
years past, had paid the premium, and had secured himself by 
the immediate possession of a small property which was to 
have gone to j\Irs. Grantly after her father's death. This 
matter, therefore, had been out of the warden's hands long 
since, as, indeed, had all the business transactions of his family, 
and his anxiety was, therefore, confined to his own life in- 

Yes. A hundred and fifty per annum was very small, but 
still it might suffice ; but how was he to chant the litany at the 
cathedral on Sunday mornings, and get the service done at 
Crabtree Parva ? True, Crabtree Church was not quite a 
mile and a half from the cathedral ; but he could not be in two 
places at once ? Crabtree was a small village, and afternoon 
service might suffice, but still this went against his conscience, 
it was not right that his parishioners should be robbed of any 
of their privileges on account of his poverty. He might, to 
be sure, make some arrangements for doing weekday service at 
the cathedral, but he had chanted the litany at Barchester so 
long, and had a conscious feeling that he did it so well, that he 
was unwilling to give up the duty. 

Thinking of such things, turning over in his own mind to- 


getber small desires and grave duties, but never besitating for 
a moment as to tbe necessity of leaving tbe hospital, Mr. 
Harding -walked up and down tbe abbey, or sat still meditating 
on tbe same stone step, bour after bour. One verger went and 
anotber came, but tbey did not disturb bim ; every now and 
tben tbey crept up and looked at bim, but tbey did so witb a 
reverential stare, and, on tbe wbole, Mr. Harding found bis 
retreat well cbosen. About four o'clock bis comfort was dis- 
turbed by an enemy in tbe sbnpe of bunger ; it was necessary 
tbat be sbould dine, and it was clear tbat be could not dine in 
tbe abbey ; so be left bis sanctuary not willingly, and betook 
himself to tbe neigbbourbood of tbe Strand to look for food. 

His eyes bad become so accustomed to the gloom of tbe 
cburcb, tbat tbey were dazed when be got out into tbe full 
light of day, and be felt confused and ashamed of himself, as 
though people were staring at him. He hurried along, still in 
dread of tbe archdeacon, till he came to Charing Cross, and 
then remembered that in one of bis passages through tbe Strand 
he had seen the words " Chops and Steaks " on a placard in a 
shop window. He remembered the shop distinctly ; it was 
next door to a trunk-seller's, and there was a cigar shop on 
tbe other side. He couldn't go to his hotel for dinner, which 
to him bitherto was tbe only known mode of dining in London 
at his own expense ; and, therefore, he would get a steak at 
the shop in the Strand. Archdeacon Grantly would certainly 
not come to such a place for bis dinner. 

He found the house easily — just as be had obsei*ved it, be- 
tween the trunks and the cigars. He was rather daunted by 
the huge quantity of fish which be saw in the window. There 
were barrels of oysters, hecatombs of lobsters, a few tremendous- 
looking crabs, and a tub full of pickled salmon ; not, however, 
being aware of any connection between shell-fish and iniquity, 
he entered, and modestly asked a slatternly woman, who was 


picking oysters out of a great watery reservoir, whether he 
could have a mutton chop and a potato. 

The woman looked somewhat surprised, but answered in the 
affirmative, and a slipshod girl ushered him into a long back 
room, filled with boxes for the accommodation of parties, in one 
of which he took his seat. In a more miserably forlorn place 
he could not have found himself : the room smelt of fish, and 
sawdust, and stale tobacco smoke, with a slight taint of escaped 
gas ; everything was rough, and dirty, and disreputable ; the 
cloth which they put before him was abominable ; the knives 
and forks were bruised, and hacked, and filthy ; and everything 
was impregnated with fish. He had one comfort, however : he 
was quite alone ; there was no one there to look on his dis- 
may ; nor was it probable that any one would come to do so. 
It was a London supper-house. About one o'clock at night 
the place would be lively enough, but at the present time his 
seclusion was as deep as it had been in the abbey. 

In about half an hour the untidy girl, not yet dressed for 
her evening labours, brought him his chop and potatoes, 
and Mr. Harding begged for a pint of sherry. He was im- 
pressed with an idea, which was generally prevalent a few 
years since, and is not yet wholly removed from the minds of 
men, that to order a dinner at any kind of inn, without also 
ordering a pint of wine for the benefit of the landlord, was a 
kind of fraud ; not punishable, indeed, by law, but not the 
less abominable on that account. Mr. Harding remembered 
his coming poverty, and would willingly have saved his half- 
crown, but he thought he had no alternative; and he was soon 
put in possession of some horrid mixture procured from the 
neighbouring public-house. 

His chop and potatoes, however, were eatable, and having 
got over as best he might the disgust created by the knives 
and forks, he contrived to swallow his dinner. He was not 


much disturbed : one young man, with pale face and watery 
fish-like eyes, wearing his hat ominously on one side, did come 
in and stare at him, and ask the girl, audibly enough, ' Who 
that old cock was;' but the annoyance went no further, and 
the warden was left seated on his wooden bench in peace, en- 
deavouring to distinguish the different scents arising from 
lobsters, oysters, and salmon. 

Unknowing as Mr. Harding was in the ways of London, he 
felt that he had somehow selected an ineligible dining-house, 
and that he had better leave it. It was hardly five o'clock — 
how was he to pass the time till ten? Five miserable hours ! 
He was already tired, and it was impossible that he should 
continue walking so long. He thought of getting into an 
omnibus, and going out to Fulham for the sake of coming back 
in another: this, however, would be weary work, and as he 
paid his bill to the woman in the shop, he asked her if there 
were any place near where he could get a cup of coffee. 
Though she did keep a shell-fish supper-house, she was very 
civil, and directed him to the cigar divan on the other side 
of the street. 

Mr. Harding had not a much correcter notion of a cigar 
divan than he had of a London dinner-house, but he was des- 
perately in want of rest, and went as he was directed. He 
thought he must have made some mistake when he found him- 
self in a cigar shop, but the man behind the counter saw 
immediately that he was a stranger, and understood what he 
wanted. " One shilling, sir — thank ye, sir — cigar, sir ? — ticket 
for coffee, sir — you'll only have to call the waiter. Up those 
stairs, if you please, sir. Better take the cigar, sir — you can 
always give it to a friend you know. Well, sir, thank ye, sir 
— as you are so good, I'll smoke it myself." And so Mr. 
Harding ascended to the divan, with his ticket for coffee, but 
minus the cisrar. 


The place seemed much more suitable to his requirements 
than the room in wliich he had dined : there "was, to be sure, a 
strong smell of tobacco, to which he was not accustomed ; but 
after the shell-Ush, the tobacco did not seem disagreeable. 
There were quantities of books, and long rows of sofas. What 
on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a 
cup of coffee? An old waiter came up to him, with a couple 
of magazines and an evening paper. Was ever anything so 
civil? Would he have a cup of coffee, or would he prefer 
sherbet ? Sherbet ! Was he absolutely in an Eastern divan, 
with the slight addition of all the London periodicals ? He 
had, however, an idea that sherbet should be dr^nk sitting xa. 
cross-legged, and as he was not quite up to this, he ordered 
the coffee. 

The coffee came, and was unexceptionable. Why, this divan 
was a paradise! The civil old waiter suggested to him a game 
of chess: though a chess player he was not equal to this, so he 
declined, and, putting up his weary legs on the sofa, leisurely 
sipped his coffee, and turned over the pages of his Blackwood. 
He might have been so engaged for about a:, hour, for the old 
waiter enticed him to a second cup of coffee, when a musical 
clock began to play. Mr. Harding then closed his magazine, 
keeping his place with his finger, and lay, listening with closed 
eyes to the clock. Soon the clock seemed to turn into a vio- 
loncello, with piano accompaniments, and Mr. Harding began 
to fancy the old waiter was the Bishop cf Barchester ; he was 
inexpressibly shocked that the bishop should have brought him 
his coffee with his own hands ; then Dr. Grantly came in, with 
a basket full of lobsters, which he would not be induced to 
leave down stairs in the kitchen ; and then the warden could n't 
quite understand why so many people would smoke in the 
bishop's drawing-room ; and so he fell fast asleep, and his 
dreams wandered away to his accustomed stall in Barchester 



Cathedral, and the twelve old men he was go soon about to 
leave for ever. 

He was fatigued, and slept soundly for some time. Some 
sudden stop in the musical clock woke him at length, and he 
jumped up with a start, surprised to find the room quite full; 
it had been nearly empty when his nap began. With nervous 
anxiety he pulled out his watch, and found that it was half- 
past nine. He seized his hat, and, hurrying down stairs, 
started at a rapid pace for Lincoln's Inn. 

It still wanted twenty minutes to ten when the warden 
found himself at the bottom of Sir Abraham's stairs, so he 
walked leisurely up and down the quiet inn to cool himself. 
It was a beautiful evening at the end of August. He had 
recovered from his fatigue ; his sleep and the coffee had re- 
freshed him, and he was surprised to find that he was abso- 
lutely enjoying himself, when the inn clock struck ten. The 
sound was hardly over before he knocked at Sir Abraham's 
door, and was infonned by the clerk who received him that 
the great man would be with him immediately. 



Mr. Harding was shown into a comfortable inner sitting- 
room, looking more like a gentleman's book-room than a 
lawyer's chambers, and there waited for Sir Abraham. Nor 
was he kept waiting long : in ten or fifteen minutes he heard 
a clatter of voices speaking quickly in the passage, and then 
the attorney-general entered. 


"Very sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Warden," said Sir 
Abraham, shaking hands with him; "and sorry, too, to name 
so disagreeable an hour ; but your notice was short, and as 
you said to-day, I named the very earliest hour that was not 
disposed of." 

Mr. Harding assured him that he was aware that it was ho 
that should apologise. 

Sir Abraham was a tall thin man, with hair prematurely 
grey, but bearing no other sign of age ; he had a slight stoop, 
in his neck rather than his back, acquired by his constant 
habit of leaning forward as he addressed his various audiences. 
He might be fifty years old, and would have looked young for 
his age, had not constant work hardened his features, and 
given him the appearance of a machine with a mind. His 
face was full of intellect, but devoid of natural expression. 
You would say he was a man to use, and then have done with ; 
a man to be sought for on great emergencies, but ill adapted 
for ordinary services ; a man whom you would ask to defend 
your property, but to whom you would be sorry to confide 
your love. He was bright as a diamond, and as cutting, and 
also as unimpressionable. He knew every one whom to know 
was an honour, but he was without a friend ; he wanted none, 
however, and knew not the meaning of the word in other than 
its parliamentary sense. A friend I Had he not always been 
suflScient to himself, and now, at fifty, was it likely that he 
should trust another? He was married, indeed, and had 
children, but what time had he for the soft idleness of con- 
jugal felicity ? His working days or term times were occupied 
from his time of rising to the late hour at which he went to 
rest, and even his vacations were more full of labour than the 
busiest days of other men. He never quarrelled with his wife, 
but he never talked to her, — he never had time to talk, he 
was so taken up with speaking. She, poor lady, was not 

K 2 


unliappy; she had all that money could give her, she would 
probably live to be a peeress, and she really thought Sir 
Abraham the best of husbands. 

Sir Abraham was a man of wit, and sparkled among the 
brightest at the dinner-tables of political grandees : indeed, he 
always sparkled ; whether in society, in the House of Commons, 
or the courts of law, coruscations flew from him ; glittering 
sparkles, as from hot steel, but no heat ; no cold heart was 
ever cheered by warmth from him, no unhappy soul ever 
dropped a portion of its burden at his door. 

"With him success alone was praiseworthy, and he knew none 
so successful as himself. No one had thrust him forward ; no 
powerful friends had pushed him along on his road to power. 
No, he was attorney-general, and would, in all human proba- 
bility, be lord chancellor by sheer dint of his own industry and 
his own talent. Who else in all the world rose so hio^h with 
so little help ? A premier, indeed ! Who had ever been 
premier without mighty friends ? An archbishop ! Yes, the 
son or grandson of a great noble, or else, probably, his tutor. 
But he. Sir Abraham, had had no mighty lord at his back ; his 
father had been a country apothecary, his mother a farmer's 
daughter. Why should he respect any but himself ? And so 
he glitters along through the world, the brightest among the 
bright ; and when his glitter is gone, and he is gathered to his 
fathers, no eye will be dim with a tear, no heart will mourn 
for its lost friend. 

" And so, Mr. Warden," said Sir Abraham, " all our trouble 
about this law-suit is at an end." 

Mr. Harding said he hoped so, but he did n't at all under- 
stand what Sir Abraham meant. Sir Abraham, with all his 
sharpness, could not have looked into his heart and read his 

'^ All over. You need trouble yourself no further about it ; 


of course thej must pay the costs, and the absolute expense to 
you and Dr. Grantly will be trifling — that is, compared Avith 
what it might have been if it had been continued." 

"I fear I don't quite understand you, Sir Abraham." 

" Don't you know that their attorneys have noticed us that 
they have withdrawn the suit ?" 

Mr. Harding explained to the lawyer that he knew nothing 
of this, althou2;h he had heard in a round-about wav that such 
an intention had been talked of; and he also at length succeeded 
in makinsr Sir Abraham understand that even this did not 
satisfy him. The attorney-general stood up, put his hands 
into his breeches' pockets, and raised his eyebrows, as Mr. 
Harding proceeded to detail the grievance from which he now 
wished to rid himself. 

" I know I have no right to trouble you personally with this 
matter, but as it is of most vital importance to me, as all my 
happiness is concerned in it, I thought I might venture to seek 
your own advice." 

Sir Abraham bowed, and declared his clients were entitled 
to the best advice he could give them ; particularly a client 
so respectable in every way as the AYarden of Barchester 

"A spoken word, Sir Abraham, is often of more value than 
volumes of written advice. The truth is, I am ill satisfied with 
this matter as it stands at present. I do see — I cannot help 
seeing, that the affairs of the hospital are not arranged accord- 
ing to the will of the founder." 

" None of such institutions are, Mr. Harding, nor can they 
be ; the altered circumstances in which we live do not admit of 

"Quite true — that is quite true; but I can't see that those 
altered circumstances give me a right to eight hundred a year. 
I don't know whether I ever read John Hiram's will, but were 


I to read it now I could not understand it. "What I want you. 
Sir Abraham, to tell me, is this — am I, as warden, legally and 
distinctly entitled to the proceeds of the property, after the due 
maintenance of the twelve bedesmen ? " 

Sir Abraham declared that he could n't exactly say in so many 
words that Mr. Harding was legally entitled to, &c., &c., &c., 
and ended in expressing a strong opinion that it would be mad- 
ness to raise any further question on the matter, as the suit was 
to be, — nay, was, abandoned. 

Mr. Harding, seated in his chair, began to play a slow tune 
on an imaginary violoncello. 

"Nay, my dear sir," continued the attorney-general, "there 
is no further ground for any question ; I don't see that you 
have the power of raising it." 

" I can resign," said Mr. Harding, slowly playing away with 
his right hand, as though the bow were beneath the chair in 
which he was sitting. 

" What ! throw it up altogether ?" said the attorney-general, 
gazing with utter astonishment at his client. 

"Did you see those articles in the Jupiter?" said Mr. 
Harding, piteously, appealing to the sympathy of the lawyer. 

Sir Abraham said he had seen them. This poor little 
clergyman, cowed into such an act of extreme weakness by a 
newspaper article, was to Sir Abraham so contemptible an 
object, that he hardly knew how to talk to him as to a rational 

"Hadn't you better wait," said he, "till Dr. Grantly is in 
town with you ? Would n't it be better to postpone any serious 
step till you can consult with him?" 

Mr. Harding declared vehemently that he could not wait, 
and Sir Abraham began seriously to doubt his sanity. 

" Of course," said the latter, " if you have private means 
sufficient for your wants, and if this " 


*'I haven't a sixpence, Sir Abraham," said the warden. 

" God bless me I Why, Mr. Harding, how do you mean to 

Mr. Harding proceeded to explain to the man of law that he 
meant to keep his precentorship, — that was eighty pounds a 
year ; and, also, that he meant to fall back upon his own little 
living of Crabtree, which was another eighty pounds. That, 
to be sure, the duties of the two were hardly compatible ; but 
perhaps he might effect an exchange. And then, recollecting 
that the attorney-general would hardly care to hear how the 
service of a cathedral church is divided among the minor canons, 
stopped short in his explanations. 

Sir Abraham listened in pitying wonder. "I really think, 
Mr. Harding, you had better wait for the archdeacon. This 
is a most serious step : one for which, in my opinion, there is 
not the slightest necessity ; and, as you have done me the 
honour of asking my advice, I must implore you to do nothing 
without the approval of your friends. A man is never the best 
judge of his own position." 

"A man is the best judge of what he feels himself I'd 
sooner beg my bread till my death, than read such another 
article as those two that have appeared, and feel, as I do, that 
tlie writer has truth on his side." 

" Have you not a daughter, Mr. Harding, — an unmarried 

. "I have," said he, now standing also, but still playing 
away on his fiddle with his hand behind his back. " I have, 
Sir Abraham; and she and I are completely agreed on this 

" Pray excuse me, Mr. Harding, if what I say seems 
impertinent: but surely it is you that should be prudent on 
her behalf. She is young, and does not know the meaning of 
living on an income of a hundred and fifty pounds a year, 

N 4 

184 THE AVAliDEX. 

On her account give up this idea. Believe me, it is sheer 

The vrarden walked away to the window, and then back to 
his chair; and then, irresolute what to say, took another turn 
to the window. The attorney-general was really extremely 
patient; but he was beginning to think that the interview had 
been long enough. 

"But if this income be not justly mine, what if she and I 
have both to beg ? " said the warden at last, sharply, and in a 
voice so different from that he had hitherto used, that Sir 
Abraham was startled. " If so, it would be better to beg." 

" My dear sir, nobody now questions its justness." 

"Yes, Sir Abraham, one does question it, — the most im- 
portant of all witnesses against me, — I question it myself. 
My God knows whether or no I love my daughter ; but I 
would sooner that she and I should both beg, than that she 
should live in comfort on money which is truly the property 
of the poor. It may seem strange to you, Sir Abraham, it is 
strange to myself, that I should have been ten years in that 
happy home, and not have thought of these things, till they 
were so roughly dinned into my ears. I cannot boast of my 
conscience, when it required the violence of a public news- 
paper to awaken it ; but, now that it is awake, I must obey it. 
TThen I came here I did not know that the suit was withdrawn 
by Mr. Bold, and my object was to beg you to abandon my 
defence. As there is no action, there can be no defence ; but 
it is, at any rate, as well that you should know that from 
to-morrow I shall cease to be the warden of the hospital. My 
friends and I differ on this subject, Sir Abraham, and that 
adds much to my sorrow : but it cannot be helped." And, as 
he finished what he had to say, he played up such a tune as 
never before had graced the chambers of any attorney-general. 
He was standing up, gallantly fronting Sir Abraham, and his 


right ami passed with bold and rapid sweeps before him, as 
though he were embracing some huge instrument, which 
allowed him to stand thus erect ; and with the fingers of his 
left hand he stopped, with preternatural velocity, a multitude 
of strings, which ranged from the top of his collar to the 
bottom of the lappet of his coat. Sir Abraham listened and 
looked in wonder. As he had never before seen Mr. Harding, 
the meaning of these wild gesticulations was lost upon him ; but 
he perceived that the gentleman who had a few minutes since 
been so subdued as to be unable to speak without hesitation, 
was now impassioned — nay, almost violent. 

"You'll sleep on this, Mr. Harding, and to-morrow " 

" I have done more than sleep upon it," said the warden ; 
" I have laid awake upon it, and that night after night. I 
found I could not sleep upon it ; now I hope to do so." 

The attorney -general had no answer to make to this ; so he 
expressed a quiet hope that whatever settlement was finallj 
made would be satisfactory ; and Mr. Harding witlidrew, 
thanking the great man for his kind attention. 

Mr. Harding was sufficiently satisfied Avith the interview to 
feel a glow of comfort as he descended into the small old square 
of Lincoln's Inn. It was a calm, bright, beautiful night, and 
by the light of the moon, even the chapel of Lincoln's Inn, and 
the sombre row of chambers, which surround the quadrangle, 
looked well. He stood still a moment to collect his thoughts, 
and reflect on what he had done, and was about to do. He 
knew that the attorney-general regarded him as little better 
than a fool, but that he did not mind ; he and the attorney- 
general had not much in common between them ; he knew 
also that others, whom he did care about, would think so too ; 
but Eleanor, he was sure, would exult in what he had done, 
and the bishop, he trusted, would sympathise with him. 

In the meantime he had to meet the archdeacon, and so he 


walked slowly down Chanceiy Lane and along Fleet Street, 
feeling sure that his work for the night was not yet over. 
When he reached the hotel he rang the bell quietly, and with 
a palpitating heart ; he almost longed to escape round the 
corner, and delay the coming storm by a further walk round 
St. Paul's Churchyard, but he heard the slow creaking shoes 
of the old waiter approaching, and he stood his ground 



" Dr. Grantly is here, sir," greeted his ears before the door 
was well open, '• and Mrs. Grantly ; they have a sitting-room 
above, and are waiting up for you." 

There was something in the tone of the man's voice which 
seemed to indicate that even he looked upon the warden as a 
runaway school-boy, just recaptured by his guardian, and that 
he pitied the culprit, though he could not but be horrified at 
the crime. 

The warden endeavoured to appear unconcerned, as he said, 
" Oh, indeed ! I'll go upstairs at once ; " but he fjiiled sig- 
nally : there was, perhaps, a ray of comfort in the presence of 
his married daughter ; that is to say, of comparative comfort, 
seeing that his son-in-law was there : but how much would he 
have preferred that they should both have been safe at Plum- 
stead Episcopi ! However, upstairs he went, the waiter 
slowly preceding him ; and on the door being opened the 
archdeacon was discovered standing in the middle of the room, 


erect, indeed, as usual, but oli ! liow sorroAvful ! and on a 
dingy sofa behind him reclined his patient wife. 

" Papa, I thought you were never coming back," said the 
lady ; " it's twelve o'clock." 

" Yes, my dear," said the warden. " The attorney-general 
named ten for my meeting ; to be sure ten is late, but what 
could I do, you know ? Great men will have their own 

And he gave his daughter a kiss, and shook hands with the 
doctor, and again tried to look unconcerned. 

"And you have absolutely been with the attorney -general? " 
asked the archdeacon. 

Mr. Harding signified that he had. 

" Good heavens, how unfortunate ' " And the archdeacon 
raised his huge hands in the manner in which his friends are 
so accustomed to see him express disapprobation and astonish- 
ment. " What will Sir Abraham think of it? Did you not 
know that it is not customary for clients to go direct to their 
counsel ? " 

" Is n't it ? " asked the warden, innocently. " Well, at any 
rate, I've done it now. Sir Abraham didn't seem to think it 
so very strange." 

The archdeacon gave a sigh that would have moved a man- 

" But, papa, what did you say to Sir Abraham ? " asked 
the lady. 

" I asked him, my dear, to explain John Hiram's will to me. 
He couldn't explain it in the only way which would have 
satisfied me, and so I resigned the wardenship." 

" Resigned it ! " said the archdeacon, in a solemn voice, sad 
and low, but yet sufficiently audible ; a sort of whisper that 
INIacready would have envied, and the galleries have applauded 
with a couple of rounds. "Resigned it! Good heavens!" 


and the dignitray of the church sank back horrified into a 
horse-hair arm chair. 

" At least I told Sir Abraham that I would resign ; and of 
course I must no^v do so." 

" Not at all," said the archdeacon, catching a ray of hope. 
"Nothing that you say in such a -way to your own counsel can 
be in any way binding on you ; of course you were there to 
ask his advice. I'm sure, Sir Abraham did not advise any such 

Mr. Harding could not say that he had. 

" I am sure he disadvised you from it," continued the reverend 

Mr. Harding could not deny this. 

" I 'm sure Sir Abraham must have advised you to consult 
TOur friends." 

To this proposition also Mr. Harding was obliged to 

" Then your threat of resignation amounts to nothing, and 
we are just where we were before." 

Mr. Harding was now standing on the rug, moving uneasily 
from one foot to the other. He made no distinct answer to the 
archdeacon's last proposition, for his mind was chiefly engaged 
on thinking how he could escape to bed. That his resignation 
was a thing finally fixed on, a f:ict all but completed, was not 
in his mind a matter of any doubt ; he knew his own weakness ; 
he knew how prone he was to be led; but he was not weak 
enough to give way now, to go back from the position to which 
his conscience had driven him, after having purposely come to 
London to declare his determination: he did not in the least 
doubt his resolution, but he greatly doubted his power of de- 
fending it against his son-in-law. 

" You must be very tired, Susan,** said he : " would n't you 
like to rro to bed ? " 


But Susan did n't want to go till her husband went — she had 
an idea that her papa might be bullied if she were away ; she 
was n't tired at all, or at least she said so. 

The archdeacon was pacing the room, expressing, by certain 
noddles of his head, his opinion of the utter fatuity of his 

" Why," at last he said, — and angels might have blushed at 
the rebuke expressed in his tone and emphasis — " Why did 
you go off from Barchester so suddenly ? Why did you take 
such a step without giving us notice, after what had passed at 
the palace ? " 

The warden hung his head, and made no reply : he could 
not condescend to say that he had not intended to give his son- 
in-law the slip ; and as he had not the courage to avow it, he 
said nothing. 

" Papa has been too much for you," said the lady. 

The archdeacon took another turn, and again ejaculated, 
" Good heavens ! " this time in a very low whisper, but still 

"I think I'll go to bed," said the warden, taking up a side 

" At any rate, you '11 promise me to take no further step 
without consultation," said the archdeacon. Mr. Harding 
made no answer, but slowly proceeded to light his candle. 
" Of course," continued the other, " such a declaration as that 
you made to Sir Abraham means nothing. Come, warden, 
promise me this. The whole affair, you see, is already settled, 
and that with very little trouble or expense. Bold has been 
compelled to abandon his action, and all you have to do is 
to remain quiet at the hospital." Mr. Harding still made 
no reply, but looked meekly into his son-in-law's face. The 
archdeacon thought he knew his father-in-law, but he was 
mistaken ; he thought that he had already talked over a va- 


dilating man to resign his promise. " Come/' said he," promise 
Susan to give up this idea of resigning the wardenship." 

The warden looked at his daughter, thinking probably at the 
moment that if Eleanor were contented with him, he need not 
so much regard his other child, and said, " I am sure Susan 
will not ask me to break my word, or to do what I know to be 

*' Papa," said she, " it would be madness in you to throw up 
your preferment. What are you to live on ? " 

" God, that feeds the young ravens, will take care of me 
also," said Mr. Harding, with a smile, as though afraid of 
giving offence by making his reference to scripture too solemn. 

"Pish!" said the archdeacon, turning away rapidly; "if 
the ravens persisted in refusing the food prepared for them, 
they wouldn't be fed." A clergyman generally dislikes to be 
met in argument by any scriptural quotation ; he feels as 
affronted as a doctor does, when recommended by an old 
woman to take some favourite dose, or as a lawyer when an 
unprofessional man attempts to put him down by a quibble. 

"I shall have the living of Crabtree," modestly suggested 
the warden. 

'•'Eighty pounds a year !" sneered the archdeacon. 

" And the precentorship," said the father-in-law. 

" It goes with the wardenship," said the son-in-law. Mr. 
Harding was prepared to argue this point, and began to do so, 
but Dr. Grantly stopped him. " My dear warden," said he, 
" this is all nonsense. Eighty pounds or a hundred and sixty 
makes very little difference. You can't live on it — you can't 
ruin Eleanor's prospects for ever. In point of fact, you can't 
resign; the bishop wouldn't accept it; the whole thing is 
settled. What I now want to do is to prevent any incon- 
venient tittle tattle, — any more newspaper articles." 

" That's what I want, too," said the warden. 


•'And to prevent that," continued the other, '* we must n't let 
any talk of resignation get abroad." 

" But I shall resign," said the warden, very, very, meekly. 

" Good heavens! Susan, my dear, what can I say to him? " 

'• But, papa," said Mrs. Grantly, getting up, and putting her 
arm through that of her father, " what is Eleanor to do if you 
throw away your income?" 

A hot tear stood in each of the warden's eyes as he looked 
round upon his married daughter. Why should one sister 
who was so rich predict poverty for another? some such idea 
as this was on his mind, but he gave no utterance to it. Then 
he thought of the pelican feeding its young with blood from its 
own breast, but he gave no utterance to that either; and then 
of Eleanor waiting for him at home, waiting to congratulate 
him on the end of all his trouble. 

" Think of Eleanor, papa," said Mrs. Grantly. 

" I do think of her," said her father. 

" And you will not do this rash thing? " The lady was really 
moved beyond her usual calm composure. 

" It can never be rash to do right," said he. " I shall 
certainly resign this wardenship." 

" Then, Mr. Harding, there is nothing before you but ruin," 
said the archdeacon, now moved beyond all endurance. '' Ruin 
both for you and Eleanor. How do you mean to pay the 
monstrous expenses of this action ? " 

Mrs. Grantly suggested that, as the action was abandoned, 
the costs would not be heavy. 

" Indeed they will, my dear," continued he. " One cannot 
have the attorney-general up at twelve o'clock at night for 
nothing ; — but of course your father has not thought of this." 

" I will sell my furniture," said the warden. 

"Furniture !" ejaculated the other, with a most powerful 


" Come, arclideacon," said the lady, " vre need n't miud that 
at present. You know you never expected papa to pay the 

" Such absurdity is enough to provoke Job," said the arch- 
deacon, marching quickly up and down the room. " Your 
father is like a child. Eight hundred pounds a-year ! — eight 
hundred and eighty with the house — with nothing to do. 
The very place for him. And to throw that up because some 
scoundrel writes an article in a newspaper ! Well — I have 
done my duty. If he chooses to ruin his child I cannot help 
it ; " and he stood still at the fireplace, and looked at himself 
in a dingy mirror which stood on the chimney-piece. 

There was a pause for about a minute, and then the warden, 
finding that nothing else was coming, lighted his candle, and 
quietly said, " Good night." 

*' Good night, papa," said the lady. 

And so the warden retired ; but, as he closed the door 
behind him, he heard the well-known ejaculation — slower, 
lower, more solemn, more ponderous than ever — '"Good 
heavens ! " 



The party met the next morning at breakfast ; and a very 
sombre affair it was — very unlike the breakfasts at Plumstead 

There were three ttin, small, dry bits of bacon, each an inch 
long, served up under a huge old plated cover; there were 


four three- cornered bits of dry toast, and four square bits of 
buttered toast ; there was a loaf of bread, and some oilj-looking 
butter ; and on the sideboard there were the remains of a cold 
shoulder of mutton. The archdeacon, however, had not come 
up from his rectory to St. Paul's Churchyard to enjoy himself, 
and therefore nothing was said of the scanty fare. 

The guests were as sorry as the viands — hardly anything 
was said over the breakfast-table. The archdeacon munched 
his toast in ominous silence, turning over bitter thoughts in 
his deep mind. The warden tried to talk to his daughter, and 
she tried to answer him ; but they both failed. There were no 
feelings at present in common between them. The warden 
was thinking only of getting back to Barchester, and calculat- 
ing whether the archdeacon would expect him to wait for him ; 
and Mrs. Grantly was preparing herself for a grand attack 
which she was to make on her father, as agreed upon between 
herself and her husband during their curtain confabulation of 
that morning. 

When the waiter had creaked out of the room with the 
last of the teacups, the archdeacon got up and went to the 
window, as though to admire the view. The room looked out 
on a narrow passage which runs from St. Paul's Churchyard to 
Paternoster Row ; and Dr. Grantly patiently perused the 
names of the three shopkeepers whose doors were in view. 
The warden still kept his seat at the table, and examined the 
pattern of the table-cloth ; and Mrs. Grantly, seating herself 
on the sofa, began to knit. 

After awhile the warden pulled his Bradshaw out of his 
pocket, and began laboriously to consult it. There was a 
train for Barchester at 10 a.m. That was out of the question, 
for it was nearly ten already. Another at 3 p. m. ; another, 
the night-mail train, at 9 p.m. The three o'clock train would 
take him home to tea, and would suit very well. 


194 THE VrAnDEX. 

" My dear," said lie, '• I think I slial] go back home at three 
o'clock to-dav. I shall get home at half-past eight. I don't 
think there's anything to keep me in London." 

'•'The archdeacon and I return by the early train to-morrow, 
papa ; won't you wait and go back with us ? " 

'•' Why, Eleanor will expect me to-night ; and I've so much 
to do ; and " 

'•' Much to do I " said the archdeacon sotto voce; but tlie 
warden heard him. 

'•' You'd better wait for us, papa." 

" Thank ye, my dear ! I think I'll go this afternoon." The 
tamest animal will turn when driven too hard, and even 
Mr. Harding was beginning to fight for his own way. 

'•' I suppose you won't be back before three ? " said the lady 
addressing her husband. 

*• I must leave this at two," said the warden. 

" Quite out of the question," said the archdeacon, answering 
his wife, and still reading the shopkeepers' names; "I don't 
suj^pose I shall be back till five." 

There was another long pause, daring which Mr. Harding 
continued to study his " Bradshaw."' 

'• I must go to Cox and Gumming," said the archdeacon at 

" Oh, to Cox and Cumming," said the warden. It was quite 
a matter of indifference to him where his son-in-law went. 

The names of Cox and Cumming had now no interest in his 
ears. What had he to do with Cox and Cumming further, 
having already had his suit finally adjudicated upon in a court 
of conscience, a judgment without power of appeal fully 
registered, and the matter settled so that all the lawyers in 
London could not disturb it. The archdeacon could go to 
Cox and Cumming, could remain there all day in anxious 
discussion ; but what might be said there was no longer matter 


of interest to him, who was SO soon to lay aside the name of 
warden of Barchester Hospitah 

The archdeacon took up his shining new clerical hat, and 
put on his black new clerical gloves, and looked heavy, re- 
spectable, decorous, and opulent, a decided clergyman of the 
Church of England, every inch of him. '* I suppose I shall 
see you at Barchester the day after to-morrow,'' said he. 

The warden supposed he would. 

" I must once more beseech you to take no further steps till 
you see my father ; if you owe me nothing," and the arch- 
deacon looked as thou<]!;h he thousrht a o-reat deal were due to 
him, '• at least you owe so much to my father ; " and, without 
waiting for a reply, Dr. Grantly wended his way to Cox and 

Mrs. Grantly waited till the last fall of her husband's foot 
was heard, as he turned out of the court into St. Paul's Church- 
yard, and then commenced her task of talking her father over. 

'• Papa," she began, " this is a most serious business." 

" Indeed it is," said the warden, ringing the bell. 

"I greatly feel the distress of mind you must have endured." 

*• I am sure you do, my dear ; " and he ordered the waiter to 
bring him pen, ink, and paper. 

*' Are you going to write, papa?" 

*• Yes, my dear — I am going to write my resignation to the 

"Pray, pray, papa, put it oif till our return, — pray put it 
off till you have seen the bishop, — dear papa ! for my sake, 
for Eleanor's ! " 

" It is for your sake and Eleanor's that I do this. I hope, 
at least, that my children may never have to be ashamed of 
their father." 

" How can you talk about shame, papa?" and she stopped 
while the waiter creaked in with the paper, and then slowljr 

o 2 


THE y>'AiiDE:j. 

creaked out again ; " Loay can you talk about shame ? you 
know what all your friends think about this question." 

The warden spread his paper on the table, placing it on the 
meagre blotting-book, which the hotel afforded, and sat him- 
self down to write. 

" You won't refuse me one request, papa ? " continued his 
daughter; "'you won't refuse to delay your letter for two 
short days ? — two days can make no possible diflference." 

" My dear,'' said he naively, " if I waited till I got to Bar- 
chester, I might, perhaps, be prevented." 

" But surely you would not wish to offend the bishop ? '* 
said she. 

"God forbid! The bishop is not apt to take offence, and 
knows me too well tj take in bad part anything that I may be 
called on to do." 

" But, papa " 

" Susan," said he, " my mind on this subject is made up ; itj 
is not without much repugnance that I act in opposition to the 
advice of such men as Sir Abraham Haphazard and the arch- 
deacon ; but in this matter I can take no advice, I cannot] 
alter the resolution to which I have come." 

" But two days, papa " 

" No, — nor can I delay it. You may add to my present] 
unhappiness by pressing me, but you cannot change my pur- 
pose ; it will be a comfort to me if you will let the matter] 
rest:" and, dipping his pen into the inkstand, he fixed his 
eyes intently on the paper. 

There was something in his manner which taught his 
dauo-hter to perceive that he was in earnest ; she had at one 
time ruled supreme in her father's house, but she knew that 
there were moments when, mild and meek as he was, he would 
have his way, and the present was an occasion of the sort. 


She returned, therefore, to her knitting, and very shortly after 
left the room. 

The warden was now at liberty to compose his letter, and, 
as it was characteristic of the man, it shall be given at full 
length. The official letter, which, when written, seemed to 
him to be too formally cold to be sent alone to so dear a 
friend, was accompanied by a private note : and both are here 

The letter of resisrnation ran as follows : — 


' Chapter Hotel, St. Paul's, 

'London, — August, 18 — . 
' My Lord Bishop, 

' It is with the greatest pain that I feel myself con- 
' strained to resign into your Lordship's hands the wardenship 
' of the hospital at Barchester, which you so kindly conferred 

* upon me, now nearly twelve years since. 

' I need not explain the circumstances which have made 

* this step appear necessary to me. You are aware that a 

* question has arisen as to the right of the warden to the 
' income which has been allotted to the wardenship ; it has 
' seemed to me that this right is not well made out, and I 

* hesitate to incur the risk of taking an income to which my 
' legal claim appears doubtful. 

* Tiie office of precentor of the cathedral is, as your Lord- 

* ship is aware, joined to that of the warden ; that is to say, 
' the precentor has for many years been the warden of the 

* hospital; there is, however, nothing to make the junction of 

* the two offices necessary, and, unless you or the dean and 
^ chapter object to such an arrangement, I would wish to keep 
' the precentorship. The income of this office will now be 
' necessary to me ; indeed, I do not know why I should be 

* ashamed to say that I should have difficulty in supporting 
' myself without it. 

O 3 


* Your Lordship, and such others as jou may please to 
' consult on the matter, will at once see that my resignation of 

* the wardenship need offer not the slightest bar to its occupa- 
' tion by another person. I am thought in the "wrong by all 
' those whom I have consulted in the matter ; I have very 
' little but an inward and an unguided conviction of my own 
' to bring me to this step, and I shall, indeed, be hurt to find 
' that any slur is thrown on the preferment which your kind- 
' ness bestowed on me, by my resignation of it. I, at any rate 

* for one, shall look on any successor whom you may appoint 
' as enjoying a clerical situation of the highest respectability, 
' and one to which your Lordship's nomination gives an in- 
' defeasible right. 

' I cannot finish this official letter without again thanking 
' your Lordship for all your great kindness, and I beg to 

* subscribe myself 

' Your Lordship's most obedient servant, 

' Septimus Harding, 

' "WHrden of Barchester Hospital, 
' and Precentor of the cathedral. 

He then wrote the following private note: — 

' My dear Bishop, 

' I cannot send you the accompanying official letter 

* without a warmer expression of thanks for all your kindness 
' than would befit a document which may to a certain degree 

* be made public. You, I know, will understand the feeling, 

* and, perhaps, pity the weakness which makes me resign the 

* hospital. I am not made of calibre strong enough to with- 
' stand public attack. Were I convinced that I stood on 

* ground perfectly firm, that I was certainly justified in taking 
' eiiiht hundred a vear under Hiram's will, I should feel bound 

* by duty to retain the position, however unendurable might be 


the nature of the assault ; but, as I do not feel this con- 

* viction, I cannot believe that you will think me wrong in 

* what I am doing. 

' I had at one time an idea of keeping only some moderate 

* portion of the income i perhaps three hundred a year, and of 

* remitting the remainder to the trustees ; but it occurred to 

* me, and I think with reason, that by so doing I should place 

* my successors in an invidious position, and greatly damage 

* your patronage. 

* My dear friend, let me have a line from you to say that 

* you do not blame me for what I am doing, and that the 

* officiating vicar of Crabtree Parva will be the same to you 

* as the warden of the hospital. 

' I am very anxious about the precentorship ; the arch- 

* deacon thinks it must go with the wardenship ; I think not, 

* and that, having it, I cannot be ousted. I will, however, be 

* guided by you and the dean. Xo other duty will suit ine so 
' well, or come so much within my power of adequate per- 

* formance. 

' I thank you from my heart for the preferment which I am 

* now giving up, and for all your kindness, and am, dear- 

* bishop, now as always, 

* Yours most sincerely, 

' Septimus Hakding. 

* London, — August, 18 — .' 

Having written these letters and made a copy of the former 
one for the benefit of the archdeacon, Mr. Harding, whom we 
must now cease to call the warden, he having designated 
himself so for the last time, found that it was nearly two 
o'clock, and that he must prepare for his journey. Yes, from 
this time he never again admitted the name by which he had 
been so familiarly known, and in wlilch, to tell the truth, he 

200 THE V.'ARDEX. 

had rejoiced. The love of titles is common to all men, and a 
vicar or fellow is as pleased at becoming ]Mr. Archdeacon or 
Mr. ProTost, as a lieutenant at getting his captaincy, or a city 
tallow-chandler in becoming Sir John on the occasion of a 
X^ueen's visit to a new bridge. But warden he was no longer, 
and the name of precentor, though the office was to him so 
dear, confers in itself no sufficient distinction ; our friend, 
therefore, again became Mr. Harding. 

]Mrs. Grantly had gone out ; he had, therefore, no one to 
delay him by further entreaties to postpone his journey ; he 
had soon arranged his bag, and paid his bill, and, leaving a 
note for his daughter, in which he put the copy of his official 
letter, he got into a cab and drove away to the station with 
something of triumph in his heart. 

Had he not cause for triumph ? Had he not been supremely 
successful ? Had he not for the first time ij; his life held his 
own purpose against that of his son-in-law, and manfully 
combated against great odds, — against the archdeacon's wife 
as well as the archdeacon ? Had he not gained a great victory, 
and was it not fit that he should step into his cab with 
triumph ? 

He had not told Eleanor when he would return, but she was 
on the look out for him by every train by which he could 
urrive, and the pony-carriage was at the Earchester station 
when the train drew up at the platform. 

" My dear," said he, sitting beside her, as she steered her 
little vessel to one side of the road to make room for the 
clattering omnibus as they passed from the station into the 
town ; " I hope you'll be able to feel a proper degree of respect 
for the vicar of Crabtree." 

" Dear papa," said she, " I am so glad." 

There was great comfort in returning home to that pleasant 
house, though he was to leave it so soon, and in discussing 


with his daughter all that he had done, and all that he had 
to do. It must take some time to get out of one house into 
another ; the curate at Crabtree could not be abolished under 
six months, that is, unless other provision could be made for 
him ; and then the furniture — the most of that must be 
sold to pay Sir Abraham Haphazard for sitting up till twelve 
at night. Mr. Harding was strangely ignorant as to lawyers' 
bills ; he had no idea, from twenty pounds to two thousand, as 
to the sum in which he was indebted for legal assistance. 
True, he had called in no lawyer himself ; true, he had been 
no consenting party to the employment of either Cox and 
Gumming, or Sir Abraham ; he had never been consulted on 
such matters ; — the archdeacon had managed all this himself, 
never for a moment suspecting that Mr. Harding would take 
upon him to end the matter in a way of his own. Had the 
lawyers' bills been ten thousand pounds, Mr. Harding could 
not have helped it ; but he was not on that account disposed 
to dispute his own liability. The question never occurred to 
him ; but it did occur to him that he had very little money at 
his banker's, that he could receive nothing further from the 
hospital, and that the sale of the furniture was his only 

" Not all, papa," said Eleanor, pleadingly. 

" Not quite all, my dear," said he ; " that is, if we can help 
it. We must have a little at Crabtree — but it can only be a 
little ; we must put a bold front on it, Nelly ; it is n't easy to 
come down from affluence to poverty." 

And so they planned their future mode of life ; the father 
taking comfort from the reflection that his daughter would 
soon be freed from it, and she resolving that her father would 
soon have in her own house a ready means of escape from the 
solitude of the Crabtree vicarage. 

When the archdeacon left his wife and father-in-law at the 


Chapter Coffee House to go to Messrs. Cox and Cumming, he 
had no very defined idea of what he had to do when he got 
there. Gentlemen when at law, or in any way engaged in 
matters requiring legal assistance, are very apt to go to their 
lawyers without much absolute necessity ; — gentlemen when 
doing so, are apt to describe such attendance as quite compul- 
sory, and very disagreeable. The lawyers, on the other hand, 
do not at all see the necessity, though they quite agree as to 
the disagreeable nature of the visit ; — gentlemen when so en- 
gaged are usually somewhat gravelled at finding nothing to 
say to their learned friends ; they generally talk a little politics, 
a little weather, ask some few foolish questions about their suit, 
and then withdraw, having passed half an hour in a small, 
dingy waiting-room, in company with some junior assistant- 
clerk, and ten minutes with the members of the firm ; the 
business is then over for which the gentleman has come up to 
London, probably a distance of a hundred and fifty miles. To 
be sure he goes to the play, and dines at his friend's club, and 
has a bachelor's liberty and bachelor's recreation for three or 
four days ; and he could not probably plead the desire of such 
gratifications as a reason to his wife for a trip to London. 

Married ladies, when your husbands find they are positively 
obliged to attend their legal advisers, the nature of the duty to 
be performed is generally of this description. 

The archdeacon would not have dreamt of leaving London 
without going to Cox and Cumming ; and yet he had nothing 
to say to them. The game was up ; he plainly saw that Mr. 
Harding in this matter was not to be moved ; his only remain- 
ing business on this head was to pay the bill and have done 
with it : and I think it may be taken for granted, that whatever 
the cause may be that takes a gentleman to a lawyer's chambers, 
he never goes there to pay his bill. 

Dr. Grantly, however, in the eyes of Messrs. Cox and 


Cumming, represented the spiritualities of the diocese of Bar- 
chester, as Mr. Chadwick did the temporalities, and was, 
therefore, too great a man to undergo the half-hour in the 
clerk's room. It will not be necessary that we should listen to 
the notes of sorrow in which the archdeacon bewailed to Mr. 
Cox the weakness of his father-in-law, and the end of all their 
hopes of triumph ; nor need we repeat the various exclama- 
tions of surprise with which the mournful intelligence was 
received. No tragedy occurred, though Mr. Cox, a short and 
somewhat bull-necked man, was very near a fit of apoplexy 
when he first attempted to ejaculate that fatal word — resign! 

Over and over again did Mr. Cox attempt to enforce on the 
archdeacon the propriety of urging on Mr. Warden the mad 
ness of the deed he was about to do. 

"Eight hundred a year ! " said Mr. Cox. 

" And nothing whatever to do I" said Mr. Cumming, who 
had joined the conference. 

" No private fortune, I believe," said Mr. Cox. 

"Not a shilling," said ]Mr. Cumming, in a very low voice, 
shaking his head. 

"I never heard of such a case in all my experience," said 
]Mr. Cox. 

" Eight hundred a year, and as nice a house as any gentle- 
man could wish to hang up his hat in," said Mr. Cumming. 

"And an unmarried daughter, I believe," said Mr. Cox, 
with much moral seriousness in his tone. The archdeacon 
only sighed as each separate wail was uttered, and shook his 
head, signifying that the fatuity of some people was past 

"I'll tell you what he might do," said Mr. Cumming, 
brightening up. "I'll tell you how you might save it — let 
him exchange." 

"Exchanfje where ?" said the archdeacon. 



" Exchange for a living. Tliere's Quiverful, of Puddiugdale; 
he has twelve children, and would be delighted to get the 
hospital. To be sure Puddingdale is only four hundred, but 
that would be saving something out of the fire : Mr. Harding 
would have a curate, and still keep three hundred or three 
hundred and fifty." 

The archdeacon opened his ears and listened; he really 
thought the scheme might do. 

"The newspapers," continued Mr. Gumming, "might 
hammer away at Quiverful every day for the next six months 
without his minding them." 

The archdeacon took up his hat, and returned to his hotel, 
thinking the matter over deeply ; at any rate he would sound 
Quiverful : a man with twelve children would do much to 
double his income. 



Ox the morning after Mr. Harding's return home, he received 
a note from the bishop full of affection, condolence, and praise. 
*'Pray come to me at once," wrote the bishop, " that we may 
see what had better be done ; as to the hospital, I will not say 
a word to dissuade you ; but I don't like your going to Crab- 
tree : at any rate, come to me at once." 

Mr. Harding did go to him at once ; and long and confi- 
dential was the consultation between the two old friends. 
There they sat together the whole long day, plotting to get 
the better of the archdeacon, and to carry out little schemes 


of theii' own, which they knew would be opposed by the whole 
weight of his authority. 

The bishop's first idea was, that INIr. Harding, if left to 
himself, would certainly starve — not in the figurative sense 
in wbich so many of our ladies and gentlemen do starve on 
incomes from one to five hundred a year; not that he would 
be starved as regarded dress coats, port wine, and pocket- 
money ; but that he would positively perish of inanition for 
want of bread. 

" How is a man to live, when he gives up all his income r " 
said the bishop to himself. And then the good-natured little 
man began to consider how his friend might be best rescued 
from a death so horrid and painful. 

His first proposition to Mr. Harding was, that they should 
live together at the palace. He, the bishop, positively assured 
Mr. Harding that he wanted another resident chaplain : not a 
young, working chaplain, but a steady, middle-aged chaplain ; 
one who Avould dine and drink a glass of wine with him, talk 
about the archdeacon, and x^oke the fire. The bishop did not 
positively name all these duties, but he gave Mr. Harding to 
understand that such would be the nature of the service 

It was not without much difficulty that Mr. Harding made 
his friend see that this would not suit him ; that he could not 
throw up the bishop's preferment, and then come and hang on 
at the bishop's table ; that he could not allow people to say of 
him that it was an easy matter to abandon his own income, as 
he was able to sponge on that of another person. He suc- 
ceeded, however, in explaining that the plan would not do, 
and then the bishop brought forward another which he had in 
his sleeve. He, the bishop, had in his will left certain moneys 
to Mr. Harding's two daughters, imagining that Mr. Harding 
would himself want no such assistance during his own life- 

206 THE WArvDEX. 

time. This legacy amounted to tliree tliousand pounds each, 
duty free ; and he now pressed it as a gift on his friend. 

"The girls, you know," said he, "will have it just the same 
when you 're gone — and they won't want it sooner — and as 
for the interest during my lifetime, it is n't worth talking 
about. I have more than enough." 

With much diflSculty and heartfelt sorrow, Mr. Harding 
refused also this offer. No ; his wish was to support himself, 
however poorly. — not to be supported on the charity of any 
one. It was hard to make the bishop understand this ; it was 
hard to make him comprehend that the only real favour he 
could confer was the continuation of his independent friend- 
ship ; but at last even this was done. At any rate, thought 
the bishop, he will come and dine with me from time to time, 
and if he be absolutely starving I shall see it. 

Touching the precentorship, the bishop was clearly of 
opinion that it could be held without the other situation — an 
opinion from which no one differed ; and it was therefore soon 
settled among all the parties concerned, that Mr. Harding 
should still be the precentor of the cathedral. 

On the day following Mr. Harding's return, the archdeacon 
reached Plumstead full of Mr. Cumming's scheme regarding 
Puddingdale and Mr. Quiverful. On the very next morning 
he drove over to Puddingdale, and obtained the full consent 
of the wretched clerical Priam, who was endeavouring to feed 
his poor Hecuba and a dozen of Hectors on the small proceeds 
of his ecclesiastical kingdom. Mr. Quiverful had no doubts 
as to the legal rights of the warden ; his conscience would be 
quite clear as to accepting the income ; and as to the Jupiter, 
he begged to assure the archdeacon that he was quite indif- 
ferent to any emanations from the profane portion of the 
periodical press. 

Having so far succeeded, he next sounded the bishop ; but 


I:eiO lie was astonislied bj most unexpected resistance. The 
bishop did not think it would do. "Not do, why not?" and 
seeing that his father was not shaken, he repeated the question 
in a severer form : '• Why not do, my lord ?" 

His lordship looked very unhappy, and shuffled about in his 
chair, but still did n't give way ; he thought Puddingdale 
would n't do for Mr. Harding ; it was too far from Bar- 

" Oh ! of course he '11 have a curate." 

The bishop also thought that Mr. Quiverful would n't do 
for the hospital ; such an exchange would n't look well at such 
a time ; and, when pressed harder, he declared he did n't 
think Mr. Harding would accept of Puddingdale under any 

"How is he to live?" demanded the archdeacon. 

The bishop, with tears in his eyes, declared that he had not 
the slightest conception how life was to be sustained within 
him at all. 

The archdeacon then left his father, and went down to the 
hospital ; but Mr. Harding would n't listen at all to the Pud- 
dingdale scheme. To his eyes it had no attraction ; it sa- 
voured of simony, and was likely to bring down upon him 
harder and more deserved strictures than any he had yet 
received: he positively declined to become vicar of Pudding- 
dale under any circumstances. 

The archdeacon waxed wroth, talked big, and looked 
bigger; he said something about dependence and beggary, 
spoke of the duty every man was under to earn his bread, 
made passing allusions to the follies of youth and wayward- 
ness of age, as though Mr. Harding were afflicted by both, 
and ended by declaring that he had done. He felt that he 
had left no stone unturned to arrange matters on the best and 
easiest footing ; that he had, in fact, so arranged them, that he 


had so managed that tliere was no further need of any anxiety 
in the matter. And how had he been paid? His advice had 
been systematically rejected ; he had been not only slighted, 
but distrusted and avoided ; he and his measures had been 
utterly thrown over, as had been Sir Abraham, who, he had 
reason to know, was much pained at what had occurred. He 
now found it was useless to interfere any further, and he 
should retire. If any further assistance were required from 
him, he would probably be called on, and should be again 
happy to come forward. And so he left the hospital, and has 
not since entered it from that day to this. 

And here we must take leave of Archdeacon Grantly. We 
fear that he is represented in these pages as being worse than 
he is ; but we have had to do with his foibles, and not with his 
virtues. We have seen only the weak side of the man, and 
have lacked the opportunity of bringing him forward on his 
strong ground. That he is a man somewhat too fond of his own 
way, and not sufficiently scrupulous in his manner of achieving 
it, his best friends cannot deny. That he is bigoted in favour, 
not so much of his doctrines as of his cloth, is also true: and it 
is true that the possession of a large income is a desire that sits 
near his heart. Nevertheless, the archdeacon is a gentleman 
and a man of conscience ; he spends his money liberally, and 
does the work he has to do with the best of his ability ; he im- 
proves the tone of society of those among whom he lives. His 
a.-pirations are of a healthy, if not of the highest, kind. Though 
never an austere man, he upholds propriety of conduct both by 
example and precept. He is generous to the poor, and hospit- 
able to the rich ; in matters of religion he is sincere, and yet no 
Pharisee ; he is in earnest, and yet no fanatic. On the whole, 
the Archdeacon of Barcliester is a man doing more good than 
harm, — a man to be furthered and supported, though perhaps 
also to be controlled ; and it is matter of regret to us that the 


course of our narrative has required that vre should see more of 
his weakness than his strength. 

Mr. Harding allowed himself no rest till everything was pre- 
pared for his departure from the hospital. It may be as well 
to mention that he was not driven to the stern necessity of sell- 
ing all his furniture : he had been quite in earnest in his inten- 
tion to do so, but it was soon made known to him that the 
claims of Messrs. Cox and Gumming made no such step obliga- 
tory. The archdeacon had thought it wise to make use of the 
threat of the lawyer's bill, to frighten his father-in-law into 
compliance ; but he had no intention to saddle Mr. Harding 
with costs, which had been incurred by no means exclusively 
for his benefit. The amount of the bill was added to the 
diocesan account, and was, in fact, paid out of the bishop's 
pocket, without any consciousness on the part of his lordship. 
A great part of his furniture he did resolve to sell, having no 
other means to dispose of it ; and the ponies and carriage were 
transferred, by private contract, to the use of an old maiden 
lady in the city. 

For his present use Mr. Harding took :. lodging in Bar 
Chester, and thither were conveyed such articles as he wanted 
for daily use — his music, books, and instruments, his own arm- 
chair, and Eleanor's pet sofa ; her teapoy and his cellaret, and 
also the slender but still sufiicient contents of his wine-cellar. 
Mrs. Grantly had much wished that her sister would reside at 
Plum.stead, till her father's house at Crabtree should be ready 
for her ; but Eleanor herself strongly resisted this proposal. 
It was in vain urged upon her, that a lady in lodgings cost 
more than a gentleman ; and that, under her father's present 
circumstances, such an expense should be avoided. Eleanor 
had not pressed her father to give up the hospital, in order that 
she might live at Plumstead Rectory, and he alone in his Bar- 
chester lodgings ^ nor did Eleanor think that she would be 



treating a certain gentleman very fairly, if she be(ook herself 
to the house which he would be the least desirous of entering 
of any in the county. So she got a little bedroom for herself 
behind the sitting-room, and just over the little back parlour 
of the chemist, with whom they were to lodge. There was 
somewhat of a savour of senna softened by peppermint about 
the place ; but, on the whole, the lodgings were clean and 

The day had been fixed for the migration of the ex-warden, 
and all Barchester were in a state of excitement on the subject. 
Opinion was much divided as to the propriety of Mr. Harding's 
conduct. The mercantile part of the community, the mayor 
and corporation, and council, also most of the ladies, were loud 
in his praise. Xothing could be more noble, nothing more 
generous, nothing more upright. But the gentry were of a 
different way of thinking, — especially the lawyers and the 
clergymen. They said such conduct was very weak and un- 
dignified ; that Mr. Harding evinced a lamentable want of 
esprit de corps, as well as courage ; and that such an abdication 
must do much harm, and could do but little good. 

On the evening before he left, he summoned all the bedes- 
men into his parlour to wish them good-bye. With Bunce he 
had been in frequent communication since his return from 
London, and had been at much pains to explain to the old man 
the cause of his resignation, without in any way prejudicing 
the position of his successor. The others, also, he had seen 
more or less frequently ; and had heard from most of them se- 
parately some expression of regret at his departure ; but he 
had postponed his farewell till the last evening. 

He now bade the maid put wine and glasses on the table ; 
and had the chairs arranged around the room ; and sent Bunce 
to each of the men to request they would come and say farewell 
to their late warden. Soon the noise of aged scuffling feet was 


heard upon the gravel and in the little hall, and the eleven 
men who were enabled to leave their rooms were assembled. 

*' Come in, my friends, come in," said the warden — he was 
still warden then. *' Come in, and sit down ;" and he took the 
hand of Abel Handy, who was the nearest to him, and led the 
limping grumbler to a chair. The others followed slowly and 
bashfully : the infirm, the lame, and the blind ; poor wretches! 
who had been so happy, had they but known it ! Now their 
aged faces were covered with shame, and every kind word 
from their master was a coal of fire burning on their heads. 

When first the news had reached them that Mr. Hardinir 
was going to leave the hospital, it had been received with a 
kind of triumph ; — his departure was, as it were, a prelude to 
success. He had admitted his want of right to the money 
about which they were disputing ; and as it did not belong to 
him, of course it did to them. The one hundred a year to each 
of them was actually becoming a reality ; and Abel Handy was 
a hero, and Bunce a faint-hearted sycophant, worthy neither 
honour nor fellowship. But other tidings soon made their way 
into the old men's rooms. It was first notified to them that 
the income abandoned by Mr. Harding would not come to 
them ; and these accounts were confirmed by attorney Finney. 
They were then informed that Mr. Harding's place would be at 
once filled by another. That the new warden could not be a 
kinder man they all knew ; that he would be a less friendly one 
most suspected ; and then came the bitter information that, 
from the moment of Mr. Harding's departure, the twopence a 
day, his own peculiar gift, must of necessity be withdrawn. 

And this was to be the end of all their mighty struggle — of 
their fight for their rights — of their petition, and their debates 
and their hopes ! They were to change the best of masters for 
a possible bad one, and to lose twopence a day each man ! 

p 2 


l\o ; unfortunate as tliis was, it was not the worst, or nearly 
the worst, as wiU just now be seen. 

" Sit down, sit down, my friends," said the warden ; " I want 
to say a word to you, and to drink your healths, before I leave 
you. Come up here. Moody, here is a chair for you ; come, 
-Jonathan Crumple — " and by degrees he got the men to be 
seated. It was not surprising that they should hang back with 
faint hearts, having returned so much kindness with such deep 
ingratitude. Last of all of them came Bunce, and with sorrow • 
ful mien and slow step got into his accustomed seat near the 

When they were all in their places, Mr. Harding rose to 
address them ; and then finding himself not quite at home on 
his legs, he sat down again. " Mj dear old friends," said he, 
^' you all know that I am going to leave you." 

There was a sort of murmur ran round the room, intended, 
perhaps, to express regret at his departure ; but it was but a 
murmur, and might have meant that or anything else. 

" There has been lately some misunderstanding between us. 
You have thought, I believe, that you did not get all that you 
were entitled to, and that the funds of the hospital have not 
been properly disposed of. As for me, I cannot say what 
should be the disposition of these moneys, or how they should 
be managed, and I have therefore thought it best to go." 

" "We never wanted to drive your reverence out of it," said 

*' Iso, indeed, your reverence," said Skulpit. " We never 
thought it would come to this. When I signed the petition — 
that is, I did n't sign it, because " 

"Let his reverence speak, can't you ?" said Moody. 

" No," continued Mr. Harding ; "I am sure you did not 
wish to turn me out j but I thought it best to leave you. I 
am i^iOt a very good hand at a law.-uit, as you may all guess; and 


when it seemed necessaiy that our ordinary quiet mode of 
living should be disturbed, I thought it better to go. I am 
neither angry nor offended Tvith any man in the hospital." 

Here Bunce uttered a kind of groan, very clearly expressive 
of disagreement. 

" I am neither angry nor displeased with any man in the 
liospital," repeated Mr. Harding, emphatically. " If any man 
has been wrong — and I don't say any man has — he has erred 
through wrong advice. In this country all are entitled to look 
far their own rights, and you have done no more. As long as 
your interests and my interests were at variance, I could give 
you no counsel on this subject ; but the connection between us 
has ceased ; my income can no longer depend on your doino-s, 
and therefore, as I leave you, I venture to offer to you my 

The men all declared that they would from henceforth be 
entirely guided by Mr. Harding's opinion in their affairs. 

" Some gentleman will probably take my place here very 
soon, and I strongly advise you to be prepared to receive him 
in a kindly spirit, and to raise no further question among 
yourselves as to the amount of his income. Were vou to 
succeed in lessening what he has to receive, you would not 
increase your own allowance. The surplus would not go to 
you ; your wants are adequately provided for, and your 
position could hardly be improved." 

" God bless your reverence, we knows it," said Spriggs. 

" It 's all true, your reverence," said Skulpit \ " we sees it 
all now." 

" Yes, Mr. Harding," said Bunce, opening his mouth for the 
first time ; " I believe they do understand it now, now that 
they 've driven from under the same roof with them such a 
master as not one of them will ever know again — now that 
they're like to be in sore want of a friend." 

p 3 

214 TilE V,ARL>EX. 

'• Come, come, Bunce," said Mr. Harding, blowing his nose, 
and manoeuvring to wipe his eyes at the same time. 

" Oil, as to that," said Handy, " we none of us never wanted 
to do Mr. Harding no harm ; if he 's going now, it 's not along 
of us ; and I don't see for what Mr. Bunce speaks up agen us 
that way." 

" You've ruined yourselves, and you've ruined me too, and 
that's why," said Bunce. 

" Nonsense, Bunce," said Mr. Harding ; " there's nobody 
ruined at all. I hope you'll let me leave you all friends, I 
hope you'll all drink a glass of wine in friendly feeling with 
me and with one another. You'll have a good friend, I don't 
doubt, iji your new warden ; and if ever you want any other, 
why after all I'm not going so far off but that I shall some- 
times see you ;" and then, having finished his speech, Mr. 
Harding filled all the glasses, and himself handed each a glass 
to the men round him, and raising liis own, said, — 

*' God bless you all I you have my heartfelt wishes for your 
welfare. I hope you may live contented, and die trusting in 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and thankful to Almighty God for the 
good things he has given you. God bless you, my friends ! " 
and Mr. Harding drank his wine. 

Another murmur, somewhat more articulate than the first, 
passed round the circle, and this time it was intended to imply 
a blessing on Mr. Harding. It had, however, but little cor- 
diality in it. Poor old men ! how could they be cordial with 
their sore consciences and shamed faces ? how could they bid 
God bless him with hearty voices and a true benison, knowing, 
as they did, that their vile cabal had driven him from bis 
happy home, and sent him in his old age to seek shelter under 
a strange roof-tree ? They did their best, however ; they 
drank their wine, and withdrew. 

As they left the hall-door, ]Mr. Harding shook hands with 


each ot the men, and spoke a kiud word to them about their 
individual cases and aihiients ; and so thev departed, answer- 
ing his questions in the fewest words, and retreated to their 
dens, a sorrowful repentant crew. 

All but Bunce, who still remained to make his own farewell. 
" There 's poor old Bell,"' said Mr. Harding, '• I must n't go 
without saying a word to him ; come through with me, Bunce, 
and bring the wine with you ; " and so they went through to 
the men's cottages, and found the old man propped up as usual 
in his bed. 

*• I 've come to say good-bye to you, Bell," said Mr. Harding, 
speaking loud, for the old man was deaf. 

" And are you going away, then, really ? "' asked Bell. 

" Indeed I am, and I 've brought you a glass of wine ; so 
that w^e may part friends, as we lived, you know." 

The old man took the proffered glass in his shaking hands, 
and drank it eagerly. " God bless you, Bell ! " said Mr. 
Harding ; " good-bye, my old friend.'' 

" And so you "re really going ? " the man again asked. 

" Indeed I am, Bell." 

The poor old bed-ridden creature still kept Mr. Harding's 
Iiand in his own, and the warden thought that he had met 
with something like warmth of feeling in the one of all his 
subjects from whom it was the least likely to be expected, for 
poor old Bell had nearly outlived all human feelings. ''And 
your reverence," said he, and then he paused, while his old 
palsied head shook horribly, and his shrivelled cheeks sank 
lower within his jaws, and his glazy eye gleamed with a 
momentary light ; '• and your reverence, shall we get the 
hundred a year, then ? " 

How gently did Mr. Harding try to extinguish the false 
hope of money which had been so wi'etchedly raised to disturb 
the quiet of the dying man I One other week and his mortal 

p 4 


coil would be shuffled off ; in one short week would God 
resume his soul, and set it apart for its irrevocable doom ; 
seven more tedious dajs and nights of senseless inactivity, and 
all would be over for poor Bell in this world ; and yet, with 
his last audible words, he was demanding his moneyed rights, 
and asserting himself to be the proper heir of John Hiram's 
bounty ! Xot on him, poor sinner as he was, be the load of 
such sin ! 

Mr. Harding returned to his parlour, meditating with a sick 
heart on what he had seen, and Bunce with him. We will 
not describe the parting of these two good men, for good men 
they were. It was in vain that the late warden endeavoured 
to comfort the heart of the old bedesman ; poor old Bunce felt 
that his days of comfort were gone. The hospital had to him 
been a happy home, but it could be so no longer. He had had 
honour there, and friendship ; he had recognised his master, 
and been recognised ; all his wants, both of soul and body, had 
been supplied, and he had been a happy man. He wept 
grievously as he parted from his friend, and the tears of an 
old man are bitter. " It is all over for me in this world," said 
he, as he gave the last squeeze to Mr. Harding's hand ; " I 
have now to forgive those who have injured me — and to die." 

And so the old man went out, and then Mr. Harding gave 
way to his grief, and he too wept aloud. 



Our tale is now done, and it only remains to us to collect the 
scattered threads of our little story, and to tie them into a 
eeemly knot. This will not be a work of labour, either to the 


author or to his readers ; "we have not to deal with many per- 
sonages, or with stirring events, and were it not for the custom 
of the thing, we might leave it to the imagination of all con- 
cerned to conceive how affairs at Barchester arranged them- 

On the morning after the day last alluded to, Mr. Harding, 
at an early hour, walked out of the hospital, with his daughter 
under his arm, and sat down quietly to breakfast at his lodg- 
ings over the chemist's shop. There was no parade about his 
departure ; no one, not even Bunce, was there to witness it ; 
had he walked to the apothecary's thus early to get a piece of 
court plaster, or a box of lozenges, he could not have done it 
with less af)pearance of an important movement. There was a 
tear in Eleanor's eye as she passed through the big gateway 
and over the bridge; but Mr. Harding walked with an elastic 
step, and entered his new abode with a pleasant face. 

" Now, my dear," said he, '•' you have everything ready, and 
you can make tea here just as nicely as in the parlour at the 
hospital.'' So Eleanor took off her bonnet and made the tea. 
After this manner did the late Warden of Barchester Hospital 
accomplish his flitting, and change his residence. 

It was not long before the archdeacon brought his father to 
discuss the subject of a new warden. Of course he looked 
upon the nomination as his own, and he had in his eye three 
or four fitting candidates, seeing that Mr. Cumming's plan as 
to the living of Puddingdale could not be brought to bear. 
How can I describe the astonishment which confounded him, 
when his father declared that he would appoint no successor 
to Mr. Harding? " If we can get the matter set to rights, Mr. 
Harding will return," said the bishop ; " and if vre cannot, it 
will be wrong to put any other gentleman into so cruel a 

It was in vain that the archdeacon argued and lectured, and 


even threatened ; iu vain lie my-lorded his poor father in his 
sternest manner; in vain his " good heavens I" were ejaculated 
in a tone that might have moved a whole synod, let alone one 
weak and aged bishop. Nothing could induce his father to 
fill up the vacancy caused by Mr. Harding's retirement. 

Even John Bold would have pitied the feelings with which 
the archdeacon returned to Plumstead : the church was falling, 
nay, already in ruins ; its dignitaries were yielding without a 
struggle before the blows of its antagonists ; and one of its 
most respected bishops, his own father — the man considered 
by all the world as being in such matters under his, Dr. 
Grantly's control — had positively resolved to capitulate, and 
own himself vanquished I 

And how fared the hospital under this resolve of its visitor ? 
Badly indeed. It is now some years since Mr. Harding left 
it, and the warden's house is still tenantless. Old Bell has 
died, and Billy Gazy ; the one-eyed Spriggs has drunk liimself 
to death, and three others of the twelve have been gathered 
into the church-yard mould. Six have gone, and the six 
vacancies remain unfilled ! Yes, six have died, with no kind 
friend to solace their last moments, with no wealthy neighbour 
to administer comforts and ease the stings of death. Mr. 
Harding, indeed, did not desert them ; from him they had such 
consolation as a dying man may receive from his Christian 
pastor ; but it was the occasional kindness of a stranger which 
ministered to them, and not the constant presence of a master, 
a neighbour, and a friend. 

Nor were those who remained better oflf than those who died. 
Dissensions rose among them, and contests for pre-eminence ; 
and then they began to understand that soon one among them 
would be the last, — some one wretched being would be alone 
there in that now comfortless hospital, — the miserable relic of 
what had once been so irood and comfortable. 


The building of tlie hospital itself has not been allowed to 
go to ruins. Mr. Chadwick, who still holds his stewardship, 
and pays the accruing rents into an account opened at a bank 
for the purpose, sees to that ; but the whole place has become 
disordered and ugly. The warden's garden is a wretched wil- 
derness, the drive and paths are covered with weeds, the 
flower-beds are bare, and the unshorn lawn is now a mass of 
long damp grass and unwholesome moss. The beauty of the 
place is gone ; its attractions have withered. Alas I a very 
few years since it was the prettiest spot in Barchester, and 
now it is a dissfrace to the citv. 

Mr. Harding did not go out to Crabtree Parva. An ar- 
rangement was made which respected the homestead of Mr. 
Smith and his happy family, and put Mr. Harding into pos- 
session of a small living within the walls of the city. It is the 
smallest possible parish, containing a part of the Cathedral 
Close and a few old houses adjoining. The church is a sin- 
gular little Gothic building, perched over a gateway, through 
which the Close is entered, and is approached by a flight of 
stone steps which leads down under the archway of the gate. 
It is no bigger than an ordinary room, — perhaps twenty-seven 
feet long by eighteen wide, — but still it is a perfect church. 
It contains an old carved pulpit and reading-desk, a tiny altar 
under a window filled with dark old-coloured glass, a font, 
some half-dozen pews, and perhaps a dozen seats for the poor, 
and also a vestry. The roof is high-pitched, and of black old 
oak, and the three large beams which support it run down to 
the side walls, and terminate in grotesquely carved faces — two 
devils and an angel on one side, two angels and a devil on the 
other. Such is the church of St. Cuthbert at Barchester, of 
which Mr. Harding became rector, with a clear income of 
seventy-five pounds a year. 

Here he performs afternoon service every Sunday, and ad- 


ministers the Sacrament once in every three months. His 
audience is not large ; and, had they been so, he could not 
have accommodated them : but enough come to fill liis six 
pews, and, on the front seat of those devoted to the poor is 
always to be seen our old friend ]Mr. Bunce, decently arrayed 
in his bedesman's gown. 

Mr. Harding is still precentor of Barchester ; and it is verv 
rarely the case that those who attend the Sunday morning 
service miss the gratification of hearing him chant the Litany, 
as no other man in England can do it. He is neither a dis- 
contented nor an unhappy man j he still inhabits the lodgings 
to which he went on leaving the hospital, but he now has 
them to himself. Three months after that time Eleanor 
became Mrs. Bold, and of course removed to her husband's 

There were some difficulties to be got over on the occasion 
of the marriage. The archdeacon, v.-ho could not so soon 
overcome his grief, would not be persuaded to grace the cere- 
mony with his presence, but he allowed his wife and children 
to be there. The marriage took place at the palace, and the 
bishop himself officiated. It was the last occasion on which 
he ever did so ; and, though he still lives, it is not probable 
that he will ever do so again. 

Not long after the marriage, perhaps six months, when 
Eleanor's bridal-honours were fading, and persons were be- 
ginning to call her Mrs. Bold without twittering, the arch- 
deacon consented to meet John Bold at a dinner-party, and 
since that time they have become almost friends. The arch- 
deacon firmly believes that his brother-in-law was, as a ba- 
chelor, an infidel, an unbeliever in the great truths of our 
religion ; but that matrimony has opened his eyes, as it has 
those of others. And Bold is equally inclined to think that 
time has softened the asperities of the archdeacon's character. 


Friends though they are, they do not often revert to the feud 
of the hospitah 

Mr. Harding, we say, is not an unhappy man ; he keeps his 
lodgings, but they are of little use to him, except as being the 
one spot on earth which he calls his own. His time is spent 
chiefly at his daughter's or at the palace ; he is never left 
alone, even should he wish to be so ; and within a twelve- 
month of Eleanor's marriage his determination to live at his 
own lodging had been so far broken through and abandoned, 
that he consented to have his violoncello permanently removed 
to his daughter's house. 

Every other day a message is brought to him from the 
bishop. " The bishop's compliments, and his lordship is not 
very well to-day, and he hopes ]\Ir. Harding will dine with 
him." This bulletin as to the old man's health is a myth ; for 
though he is over eighty he is never ill, and will probably die 
some day, as a spark goes out, gradually and without a 
struggle. Mr. Harding does dine with him very often, Avhich 
means going to the palace at three and remaining till ten ; 
and whenever he does not the bishop whines, and says that 
the port wine is corked, and complains that nobody attends to 
him, and frets himself off to bed an hour before his time. 

It was long before the people of Barchester forgot to call 
Mr. Harding by his long well-known name of Warden. It 
had become so customary to say Mr. Warden, that it was not 
easily dropped. " No, no," he always says when so addressed, 
" not warden now, only precentor."